The Rajasthan government is considering a proposal for a ‘shoot to sterilise’ policy for Nilgais, whose population it says, has shot up beyond control and is causing damage.
The Indian Express reports that people will be encouraged to shoot the rump of the nilgais with darts containing contraceptives. In addition to injecting contraceptives, the darts will ensure the coat of the animal gets a color patch indicating that the animal is sterilized.
Lately, the state government had been worried with the destruction and damage caused to crops by the 55,000 nilgais in the state.
Earlier, Rajasthan Forest Minister Rajkumar Rinwa had said, “Nilgais raiding crop has become a big problem in the state. It is a different animal but many call it a ‘gai’, there are sentiments involved. I am a Brahmin and killing any animal doesn’t feel right,” on December 2014.
The newspaper quotes a forest department official as saying, “If this drive works, we’ll count on natural mortality to bring the numbers down.”
However, the state government is yet to get legal clearance for public participation, but a pilot project by forest officials is likely to start soon.
The contraceptive for the darts is yet to be chosen as the forest department is in talks with the US Department of Agriculture for use of either GonaCon or Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP). Both these drugs have been successful in the US in tackling overgrowing populations of animals like white-tailed deer, California ground squirrels amongst others.