After a five-hour-long operation on Sunday, the forest department with the help of locals rescued a sambar deer that had entered the Sidhwan Canal. Although the water level was low, the sambar was unable to come out of the canal.
Sources said the sambar could have entered the canal on Saturday night, but was spotted near the Ferozepur Road bridge early on Sunday morning. As a team of the forest department tried to rescue it, the scared deer started running further into the canal towards the Jawaddi Bridge side.
When the forest team was making efforts to save it, some bystanders, too, entered the canal to lend a helping hand. During the rescue operation, the sambar received several injuries, including on its legs, back and other body parts. Some of the persons trying to rescue it were also injured as the animal kept jumping after a rope was thrown around its neck.
The sambar was finally rescued from near the canal slope in Jawaddi as it was unable to run ahead. It was lifted out of the canal with the help of a JCB machine that was brought there by a resident.
Veerpal, a resident, said: “As I saw a wild animal running into the canal, I entered the canal to save it. Some other persons also joined in to help rescue the sambar. I even got injured in the operation.”
Soon after the rescue operation, Dapinder Kaur, in charge of the forest department, Ludhiana, said: “We received information from the district administration that a sambar was spotted in the canal. We will give it the required treatment and then it will be taken to the forest.”
Raj Kumar, a beldar working with the forest department, received injuries while rescuing the deer. He said: “We were trying to catch the sambar since early morning. Finally, we were able to rescue it safely.”
Sources said that the forest department lacked proper arrangements to rescue the sambar, which might have entered the canal to quench its thirst after forgetting its way. As people gathered around the canal and some even pelted stones at it, the sambar got scared, they said.
Jarnail Singh, block forest officer, Ludhiana, said: “The sambar is fine now and we are planning to shift it to the Mattewara forest area. This animal may have entered the water body from a nearby forest.”
He said that the sambar deer is mostly found in the forest area adjoining Abohar branch of the canal. “Similar cases are commonly reported during the winter season due to fog. Actually, when these animals start running, they fail to notice traffic and other obstructions on roads. Sometimes they jump into the canal. Earlier, the banks of the canal were not cemented due to which they could come out of the water body easily,”he said.