RTI Reveals 35 Deer in IIT Madras Reportedly Died in Last Six Months

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RTI Reveals 35 Deer in IIT Madras Reportedly Died in Last Six Months
© Provided by News18 RTI Reveals 35 Deer in IIT Madras Reportedly Died in Last Six Months

Deer deaths at IIT Madras have become a recurring theme, with 35 deer dying from July to December last year, including the spotted deer and blackbucks. According to an RTI reply, it stated that the postmortem of only 15 deer has been conducted, wherein 20 other deer has not been yet.

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As per the RTI report sought by the animal rights activist Ashwin Kumar and according to the information provided by the Tamil Nadu Wildlife Division, between July and December 2021 there were 31 spotted deer and 4 blackbuck deaths that occurred within the campus of IIT Madras. Of those, a maximum of 11 deer died in December 2021 alone.

According to the postmortem report, four deer were reported to have died due to not digesting the plastic and polythene bags they had eaten. Two more deer were reportedly bitten by dogs. However, a postmortem of only 15 spotted deer was conducted.

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The controversy was in place right since September 2020 when IIT-M impounded 188 stray dogs and was confined to shelters alleging they had killed more than 55 deer from 2019 to 2020. However, at least 50 dogs died in two years, while 40 were adopted and 41 dogs were rescued by different NGOs. Apparently, there were no records for the rest.

During a hearing on a petition filed by animal rights activists, the IIT Madras informed the Madras High Court that 22 stray dogs were on the campus, and the court ordered the release of the then remaining 22 dogs that were alive. Activists allege that the IIT-M campus is not sensitive towards wildlife, focusing only on the infra developments.

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On the other hand, the IIT management has explained that the deer mortality rate at the IIT Madras campus has declined in the last 4 years. However, the IIT management stood its ground that the dogs were the reason for the deaths of the deer and blackbucks. Meanwhile, the Animal Welfare Organization is also pursuing a lawsuit against IIT-M over the confinement of dogs in cages.

In this context, the IIT Madras administration has explained the death of deer, according to which the deer mortality rate has decreased significantly in the last 4 years. According to the IIT-M report, the deer mortality rate has come down from 96 in 2018 to 53 in 2021.

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