Time for the dogs to be packed off. After the death of 31 black bucks on Thursday (April 26), a canine hunt is on at the Beer Talaab forest deer park here.
Dogcatchers from the Chattbir zoo near Chandigarh are shooting the strays with tranquilliser darts. A brick wall is up around the bucks' cage, and the security is stronger. Night vigil is on, and officers are on duty 24 hours. A guard is at the gate.
The team from Chandigarh reached here late Tuesday and began its work at night, when killer dogs are most active. Early in the operation, the two-member squad has been able to sedate three dogs that hunted the animals at the park, and on Wednesday, they anesthetised another canine.
Veterinary doctors of the deer park now are out with the autopsy report. On Wednesday, the three-member team submitted the analysis at the divisional forest office. A day after the killing of black bucks, chief minister had mourned the incident, visited the zoo, and marked an inquiry.
Three officials of the forest department (forest officer Gurpal Singh Dhillon, watchman Jarnil Singh and a temporary guard) were issued suspension order for negligence. The assistant superintendent of police, subdivisional magistrate and deputy director for animal husbandry are on with another inquiry.
On Sunday (April 29), a pack of dogs chased another protected animal, a neelagi, at the deer park. "The team of dogcatchers tranquillised four dogs," said district forest officer SP Anand. "The number of guards is up from four."
The DFO assured the reporter of regular vigil. "The dogs caught will be released 40 km from the park, and the new wall and security will prevent another intrusion of the April 26 kind," said the district forest officer. "The autopsy reports with me reflect shock and stampede to be the causes that killed the bucks after dogs chased the animals."