Gautam Buddha Nagar (Uttar Pradesh): In a joint operation carried out by the Dadri Police in Uttar Pradesh, the People for Animals (PFA) and the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), a Black buck was seized from a resident of Datavali in Uttar Pradesh. The operation was carried out on Monday, January 14. The accused, Jahima, is absconding.
Black bucks are protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, making it illegal to keep it in private confinement. However, the Black buck had been kept as a pet for the past eight months by the accused.
Following the seizure, Dinesh Pandey, Assistant Programme Officer with the WTI informed the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Gautam Buddha Nagar, Narendra Pratap Singh. The animal was then taken to the Delhi Zoo in an ambulance belonging to the PFA in the presence of the DFO.
Singh said, “If the animal was only recently captured from the wild, it could have been released. However, it seemed to have been raised in captivity, so it has been sent to the zoo following the orders of the Chief Wildlife Warden.”
“The minimum sentence for illegal captivity of the Black buck is three years in prison,” the DFO added. He however speculated that the intention of the accused may not have been to break the law but added that it was for the court to decide the fate of the accused.
Black buck (Antilope cervicapra) is a species of antelope found mainly in India, but also in parts of Pakistan and Nepal. Originally spread over large tracts of India (except in the North east), the Black buck population is today confined to areas in Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat with a few small pockets in Central India. Its original habitat is open plain and not dense jungles. Black buck is one of the fastest animals and can outrun most predators over long distances.
The diet of the Black buck consists mostly of grass, although it does eat pods, flowers and fruits to supplement its diet. The maximum life span recorded is 16 years and the average is 12 years.