Manipuri man on cycle tour to save deer

Sangai, a brow antlered deer endemic to State, is under threat from poachers

With an aim to spread awareness about the importance of protecting ‘Sangai’, a brow antlered deer endemic to Manipur, a local cyclist on Monday embarked on a State-wide bicycle tour. There are less than 260 deer in its natural habitat, the 40 sq. km. Keibul Lamjao national park, about 65 km from State capital Imphal. Mr. Phuritsabam said, “Last year, I was shocked to read a news story about a poacher hunting down a brow antlered deer and relishing the venison during the Sangai festival. Manipur government organises the festival every year to promote tourism and create awareness about the deer”. On Sunday, wildlife enthusiasts staged a sit-in protest against the killing of a tigress and an Amur Falcon in Tamenglong district of Manipur. The activists said that they will continue agitations till the poachers are arrested and booked. Each year, thousands of Amur Falcons visit the northeast. They make a landfall in Manipur and Nagaland. The tribals of Tamenglong district play host to the visiting birds since they eat up insects that destroy paddy fields. While the falcons were a common sight earlier, their numbers have decimated of late, mainly due to poaching. The winged visitors are now openly hunted down and sold in the markets of the district.

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