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      (National Defence Academy NDA). 19 .
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      07 07 2017


     Stray dogs kill 19 spotted deer in NDAs forest area since January
     PUNE: Stray dogs are a threat to endangered fauna in the reserved forest of the National Defence Academy (NDA). Since January, this year they have chased and killed 19 spotted deer (Axis axis) or chital on the academy's forest land which is spread over 4,700 acres.
     Fearing imbalance that the persistent menace may cause to the wild life, the NDA authorities have written to the chief conservator of forest to look into the matter and prevent damage to the forest's ecology.
     NDA is spread over an area of 6,700 acres of land, of which approximately 2,000 acres is a developed habitat. The remaining 4,700 acres is forest area and is being utilised for various training activities of cadets. This forest area is home to a large number of animals including spotted deer, peacocks, hyenas and foxes.
     However, stray dogs entering the campus from outside have become a concern. "In the recent past, a large number of spotted deer have been killed by these packs of stray dogs which infiltrate the campus from the outside, prey on the herbivores and thereafter disappear. Every incidence is being reported to the range forest officer and the carcass is handed over for post mortem and further disposal," S N Sahay, NDA's estate officer has stated in a letter addressed to the chief conservator of forest on June 30. TOI has a copy of the letter.
     As per the NDA's letter, between January 19 and June 29, this year, a total of 19 spotted deer have succumbed to dog bite injuries at several locations inside the campus. The letter further reads, "It is therefore requested that action be taken by forest officials to restrict the ingress of stray dogs in the academy to prevent further damages to the fauna. The unabated menace of stray dogs may result in the wild life imbalance thereby seriously affecting the ecology of the reserve forest."
     When contacted, Ranganath Naikade, deputy conservator of forest (territorial), Pune, said, "This is a serious issue that needs to be tackled urgently . I will personally look into it and visit the NDA campus on Monday. An expert committee has been appointed by the state government to look into the issues of stray dogs. We can seek the committee's help. Wild life conservation can only be made jointly when all stake-holders join hands along with active participation from the public."
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