In a development that exposes how little is known of the hidden and varied wildlife of Dima Hasao district, a ‘white’ deer – an extremely rare occurrence anywhere in the country – was sighted for the first time in the North East on Monday. Unfortunately, the deer – snow-white in appearance – was killed and its skin and some body parts were recovered later in the day.
The Dima Hasao forest authorities said that it was an albino barking deer. Over the past century or so, there have been only a few authenticated sightings of albino white deer. Albinism is characterised by the absence of the melanin pigment, resulting in white body with pink limbs, snout, ears and red eyes.
This particular specimen, however, was almost entirely white.
“It is an albino barking deer, an extremely rare occurrence, and marks the first such occurrence in the North East. It is very sad that the animal was killed. The killers need to be given exemplary punishment,” noted conservationist Dr Choudhury said.
A Haflong-based forest official said that the skin and four leg bones were seized on Monday and two persons, including the killer, arrested.
“This is the first time we have seen an albino deer in the district or for that matter, in the entire North East. The killing took place near Zion, a remote forest village. The arrested poachers will be strictly dealt with under the Wildlife (Protection) Act,” the official said. (The Nagaland Post)