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Nilgai rescued from pit after 4-hr struggle

                                                                                           The Times of India, New Delhi, 19th April, 2013

It was a four-hour long rescue operation but the nilgai, which fell into a 30-foot deep pit in the Vasant Kunj ridge on Thursday, managed to escape with no serious injuries. Since pulling it out would have been extremely difficult, a JCB machine was used to make a ramp which the rattled animal used to run out into the forest.

The rescue operation started once locals reported the animal's presence in the pit to Sonya Ghosh, a resident of Vasant Kunj and co-founder of the NGO, Welfare and Protection of Animals. She rushed to the spot to find that the animal was alive and informed the forest department, fire brigade and Wildlife Trust of India.
 "The pit into which the animal fell looked like an unfinished well. It is located close to a CPWD concrete mixing plant which is lying in disuse. The Ridge area is dotted with several such open mining pits and well-like structures which are extremely dangerous for the animals that roam the forest area. The nilgai could have easily been missed and might have perished had it not been spotted by some passers-by," said Ghosh.

The animal, an adult female weighing 200 kg, was in a state of shock but did not receive any injuries and simply walked away after it left the pit. AK Shukla, chief conservator of forests, Delhi, felt that the use of tranquilizers should be avoided since nilgais are extremely sensitive animals and it was decided to make a makeshift ramp for it. Reetika Maheshwary, the veterinarian from WTI who was part of the rescue team, said, "Nilgais generally do not fare well in such rescue operations. We approached the situation with extreme caution."

Ghosh later wrote to the forest conservator, asking him to take action against non-forest activities in Ridge and Rajokri. "This area has been devastated due to illegal mining in the past. While similar pits in the Bhatti Mines area have been reforested, or are being reforested, no activity has been undertaken in this area. Kindly take steps to reforest this area," she wrote.