Sunday, September 7, 2008

Menagerie City - 5

The spotted deer inside the IIT Madras campus are reasonably comfortable with humans. Not that they can be considered 'tame', but they are not really wild, either. A large part of the IIT Madras campus is scrub jungle, an extension of the Guindy National Park. The deer certainly do not understand the boundaries between the GNP and the IIT and were used to moving across all the space they could. Recently, there was some talk of IIT authorities building a wall to ensure their campus area is clearly demarcated; I'm not sure if they went ahead with it. I hope that even if they have done so, there are enough pathways for the deer to move around freely.

Within the campus, the deer walk around unhindered; they do find their way into the living areas, too. At times it might be a problem for the residents. They may look gentle enough, but the more familiar they become with humans, the less nervous they get. Sometimes, they may go so far as to frightening children. With an average weight of about 80 kg, you really don't want to pick an argument with that kind of antler-tipped mass. This one, however, was not too keen on mixing it up with us in any way and moved away quickly.

There are so many of them around the IIT Madras campus, that when the Institute renamed its annual cultural festival, they chose the name 'Saarang' - another name for this spotted deer!


Hilda said...

Cool! About the only wild life our campus gets is birds and snakes. Oh, and stray dogs and cats. ;)

Shantaram said...

>> Hilda>> Apart from the IIT, only the Madras Christian College has a campus where there's some wildlife... the others are content with their dogs and cats!

Kris McCracken said...

Great shot and great story. I think that I’d like this place.

Shantaram said...

>> Kris>> I'm sure you will!