Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'
A solidly built small deer species, the hog deer is an animal of the terai grasslands and flood plains of northern India. This specimen, rediscovered in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, succumbed after being chased by stray dogs.
A hog deer that was reportedly being chased by stray dogs was handed over by the villagers who rescued it to the Mirzapur Forest Division on 12th May, in Kolana village near Adalahat (Dist. Mirzapur, U.P.) The animal was later taken to the Range Officer, Chunar Forest Range, Shri S.P. Ojha, and was kept under the medical supervision of a veterinarian. The animal, which was initially mistaken for a chital, was later identified as a hog deer (Hyelaphus porcinus) with the help of Vindhyan Ecology & Natural History Foundation. It is a protected species under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and is listed as ‘endangered’ on the IUCN Red List.
Hog deer are mainly found in terai grasslands and floodplains of north Indian rivers. They were once widespread across northern India, and the floodplains of the River Ganga are its natural habitat. Its rediscovery in Mirzapur is a matter of surprise.
According to Mr Rakesh Chaudhary, Divisional Forest Officer, Mirzapur, the deer did not survive despite all efforts. The hair samples of the animal have been sent to Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, for gathering more information on its origin.