A 60-year-old man mowed down a young male blackbuck, considered an endangered animal at the Raj Bhavan in Chennai near the Guindy National Park on Saturday.
Blackbucks are included in Section 1 under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, providing absolute protection to the species.
Sources in Guindy National Park (GNP) say KRS Ananthakumar, the suspect in the case, had attended a wedding anniversary of an assistant section officer at the Raj Bhavan on Saturday. While he was returning from the celebration, he hit a blackbuck with his vehicle around 6:45pm. The blackbuck died immediately.
“The car was traced with the marks of the car tyre and Ananthakumar was apprehended by the forest officials,” says a source to The News Minute.
They added that this particular area in Raj Bhavan where the incident took place comes under GNP.
“People are allowed inside the area with vehicles only if someone has given permission. The police keeps a check on the vehicles and takes down the details of the vehicles,” sources added.
The case was registered at the national forest range office in Guindy. Ananthakumar was produced before the magistrate on Sunday and was remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.
On Monday, the Metropolitan Court at Saidapet granted bail to Ananthakumar. “It is a non-bailable offence and he should not have been released in one day. He carelessly drove the vehicle,” said a source from the forest department.
Speaking to The News Minute, animal rights activist Shravan Krishnan said, “There is diverse wildlife in the Guindy National Park. There are various animals like jackals, blackbucks, pangolins, spotted deers, which are rarely found in other states. It needs to be protected and no one should be allowed to go inside the national park with vehicles, they should walk, cycle or use forest escorted vehicles.
There have been reports in the past indicating that GNP was struggling to protect the bustling population of deers in its foliage area. According to a report in 2008, the park with city limits had around 400 black bucks and 1100 spotted deer.
Picture of a young black buck by Archit Ratan/Flickr