Hassan: A coffee plantation owner in Hosur, Sakleshpur has been booked for keeping as many as 22 spotted deer in an enclosure on his estate without permission of the forest department.
Over the last couple of days, Sakleshpur forest officials have rescued seven of the spotted deer from the enclosure and shifted them to the Geddekatte mini zoo in Hassan. While two deer were rescued on Tuesday, five more were moved out of the enclosure on Wednesday. More are likely to be shifted soon with the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) permitting the forest officials to tranquilise and move them all to the Gendekatte zoo.
The stray deer have been held in captivity on the coffee estate for a couple of years with its owner claiming he was only trying to help the straying animals, who were injured, by offering them a home and over the years their number had increased to 22.
While some vouch for him, saying he did write several letters to forest officials to shift the spotted deer in his captivity, but received no response, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Hassan, Sivaram Babu said a case had been booked against him for keeping the spotted deer in illegal captivity on his coffee plantation and the matter was being investigated.
Forest officials say all the spotted deer will be have to be darted to translocate them as they can become very anxious if any attempt is made to catch them otherwise, and can even die.
The only way to safely capture them is to tranquilise them, they explain. “The darting of the deer will have to take place in phases. Right now, they are tense and so it will take a while before we catch the others,” said a forest officer....