Ahmedabad Newsline-Sibte Husain Bukhari
Junagadh, April 8: Six nilgai have died here in Khadusala reserve forest falling under the Ramgadh area of Dalakhania forest range in Gir (East) Forest Division. The nilgai apparently died after consuming water from a watering hole located in the forest area. Internal haemorrhage caused due to intake of ricin toxin from castor plant is said to be reason behind the deaths. A labourer working in the forest sighted the animals drinking the water and falling down within minutes. He informed the local beat guard, who in turn informed RFO (Dalkhania range). RFO A D Atara, along with veterinary doctors rushed to the spot, but it was too late.
Later, Deputy Conservator of Forest (Gir-East) B G Rana and ACF J S Solanki went to the spot for further investigation.According to official statement, the pugmarks of the animals were traced to an agriculture farm located at Govindpur village, one km away where the animals grazed on casor seed plants.
Meanwhile a panel of doctors comprising veterinary officers from Sasan and Dhari conducted postmortem on the animals on the spot and it was discovered that the six nilgai died of internal haemorrhage in the liver, heart and intestine. Viscera of the animal and water samples from the watering hole have been sent to forensic science laboratory-Junagadh.
Sakkarbaug Zoo’s veterinary doctor R F Kadivar said, “Castor seed plant contains Ricin toxin. If consumed in excess, it can prove fatal.”