As many as 10 blue bulls (Boselaphus tragocamelus), commonly known as Nilgai, were found dead in an agricultural field in Tataniya village of Amreli district of Gujarat on Friday, with forest officers suspecting foul play.
Forest officers were alerted in the afternoon that carcasses of 10 bule bulls were lying in an open agricultural field in Tataniya, a village some 50 west of Amreli town.
“Ten blue bulls belonging to different age groups have been found dead in Tataniya. Our staff have found traces of urea in water points in the vicinity of the incident. We have also observed live electrical wires nearby and we suspect foul play,” deputy conservator of forest (DCF) of Gir East Division, Anshuman Sharma told The Indian Express.
The DCF further said veterinarians were conducting on-the-spot post-mortem of the blue bulls, the largest antelope of Asia.
“We will collect samples of waters from the points nearby to confirm any presence of urea. The post-mortem will reveal exact cause of deaths of the animals,” Sharma further said.
The DCF said blue bulls live in groups but said it was unusual that 10 Nilgais could get electrocuted at a place.
Sources said the farm on which the carcasses of the animal were found at around 1 pm belongs to one Gidha Variya and that it was located some three kilometres away from Bhangalwad reserve forest, the nearest forest area in Khambha range. Tataniya is part of territory where endangered Asiatic lions are found. Blue bulls are prey of the top predator. However, farmers complain the antelopes are damaging their standing crops.
Sharma added that urea triggers internal bleeding, killing Nilgais within hours. The blue bulls is a protected animal under Schedule-III of the Wildlife (protection) Act, 1972 and killing it can earn one imprisonment for three years and monetary fine.