A spotted Deer was killed after it collided with a speeding autorickshaw late Thursday night. The incident took place around midnight on the south-bound service road near the highway exit of the Aarey Milk Colony. According to forest officials, the deer, an adult female, was hit on the head and bled profusely after the collision. Spotted Deer is a protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act.
Officials said that such was the impact of the accident that the rickshaw turned turtle and the driver sustained injuries as well. He was then rushed to a nearby hospital.
A rescue team took the injured deer to Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in an ambulance. However, a medical officer at SGNP declared the animal dead on arrival, said Santosh Kank, range forest officer, Mumbai.
According to Dr Shailesh Pethe, veterinarian, SGNP, the deceased deer is being preserved in an ice storage at the SGNP. “We will conduct the post mortem on Saturday. Prima Facie it appears the deer died due to severe head injury,” Pethe said.
The last animal recorded dead in a hit-and-run case was on February 25, when an adult male leopard was run over by a speeding vehicle near Sativali, Vasai, on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway.
While there is no official census for deer in the city, forest officials estimate that there are about 10,000 deer spread across 103 sq km of SGNP and Aarey Milk Colony.
Meanwhile, forest officials are trying to determine where the deer had come from and why it had jumped onto the road. The local Vanrai police station has not recorded any criminal case against the rickshaw driver but his statement has been recorded.