Akhilesh orders probe into blackbuck deaths, toll now reaches 13

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Wednesday formed a two-member committee to probe the death of blackbucks at Lucknow zoo and submit a report within two days. Meanwhile, three more blackbucks died in the past 24 hours, taking the toll to13.

Experts from Wildlife Institute of India and Bear Rescue Centre, Agra have been called for finding the cause of deaths, even as Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) is awaiting results of pathological test of the dead antelopes.

Principal Secretary, Forest V N Garg formed the probe committee under Ashwani Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forest, Training and Research. Principal Secretary, Animal Husbandry named Dr J K Pandey, senior veterinary doctor as the second committee member, said a press release issued by the department of Information and Public Relation.

The committee will look into the cause of death, negligence, if any, on part of the zoo administration and suggest ways to prevent such incidents in future.

According to the release, postmortem reports conducted by IVRI experts and zoo vets showed the cause of death as Acute Broncho Pneumonia.

For the past four days, the antelopes have been dying in Lucknow zoo. With 13 dead, merely 31 of the threatened species are now left in the zoo.

Meanwhile, precautionary medications is being given to the remaining antelopes in the zoo. "Three more black bucks have died and the total number of dead black bucks is now 13," said Rupak De, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife).

De said, Dr Parag Nigam from Wildlife Institute of India and Dr Illiaraj from the Bear Rescue Centre, Agra, who arrived here Wednesday are of the opinion that the cause of death seems to be pneumonia and the line of treatment taken by the vets for the remaining black bucks in the zoo is correct.

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