Found in injured condition, animal dies despite efforts to save it
A Kashmir musk deer was spotted in the north Kashmir forests in an injured condition on Wednesday.
Also known as ‘vampire deer’, the animal was found in Baderkhal forests in the Wadipora area of Handwara in north Kashmir by some locals. Despite strenuous efforts by the wildlife and forest officials, the rare animal could not be saved.
The animal was in bad condition and had predator injuries, said a forest official.
Soon after it was spotted by locals, the forest and the wildlife officials rushed to the spot to rescue the animal. “Despite our efforts, the animal could not be saved. It succumbed to its injuries,” wildlife warden, north Kashmir, Mohammad Maqbool Baba told KP.
Kashmir musk deer or moschus cupreus (scientific name) is as endangered species. It is also listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list.
The animal not only faces threat from shrinking habitat but is also high on the poachers list for its prized musk or scent glands.
Though native to Afghanistan, Kashmir musk deer was spotted in the trouble-torn country after nearly six decades in 2009 in the Nuristan region by researchers.
Asked how the deer had sustained injuries and how it strayed into the lower forest area, Baba said initial examination revealed that it might have been attacked by a predator. “The animal might have strayed into the lower forests due to cold and came under attack from a predator. When the animal was recovered, it appeared frightened,” Baba said, adding that a sizeable population of the species was found across Kashmir.
“Kashmir musk deer is an endangered wild animal, but we have a significant population of this species in the Valley,” he said.