31 deer die in Tamil Nadu park

The deaths occurred due to excessive consumption of subabul tree leaves

According to the official, the keepers overfed the deer in their enthusiasm as the animals ate the leaves with relish.(DH file photo)

As many as 31 spotted deer have died at a park near here in the past few days due to indigestion caused by excessive intake of leaves containing toxic amino acid, a Forest Department official said.

The deer died of excessive consumption of subabul tree leaves, which are rich in protein and have mimusin, a toxic amino acid, since November 1.

Too much intake of the leaves had resulted in digestion problems leading to the death of the animals, the official said Sunday.

While 17 deer died on November 1, eight perished the next day. Another six died on Saturday. Twenty-five of them were female and some were also pregnant, the official said.

There were about 180 deer in the park which were taken care of by their keepers. Officials were now keeping an eye on the rest.

Postmortem of a couple of deer revealed the cause of the deaths, following which the keepers have been asked not to feed subabul leaves to the remaining, the official said.

According to the official, the keepers overfed the deer in their enthusiasm as the animals ate the leaves with relish.

Officials were now providing certain type of grass, besides a concoction, including powdered pepper, and drinking water for the rest of the herd as a preventive measure, the official said.

Any symptoms of illness would be noticed only after a deer would isolate itself from the group and no deer has done so since Saturday night, she said.

"Therefore, there may not be anymore casualties," the official added. 

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31 deer die in Tamil Nadu park

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