Sonamarg youth spots Hangul in Thajiwas, hands it over to Dachigam authorities

MOHAMMAD IMRAN

GANDERBAL: A young boy from picturesque Sonamarg area of central Kashmir spotted a Hangul, Jammu and Kashmir’s state animal, in Thajiwas woods and travelled all the way to Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary in Srinagar, a distance of 80 km, to hand over the animal to authorities.
Wildlife officials, impressed by the act of the boy, have decided to award him.
Officials said that, Mohammad Altaf, a resident of Sonamarg spotted a lone deer roaming in Thajiwas woods in the area.
Fearing that the animal would be killed, he travelled a distance of 80km to take the deer to Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary.
Thajiwas in Sonamarg and Dachigam in Srinagar fall on the two sides of a range of mountains. The aerial distance between the two is 30 km.
Dachigam is a vast mountainous sanctuary where Hangul grazed in hordes before the start of militancy in 1989. Poached for its meat, antlers and skin, the deer’s population fell to just 230 in 2009. Of-late, the numbers have started to stabilize after efforts by the authorities at Dachigam.
Wild life officials congratulated Altaf for his act of sympathy towards the animal. “He’ll be suitably rewarded,” a wildlife official said.

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