- The Bishnois of Rajasthan and Punjab are celebrated for their protection of antelopes. Across India, other communities too sustain blackbucks at their own cost. Residents of about 70 villages in Ganjam district, southern Odisha, live with more than 3,000 of them.
- Blackbucks are not woodland creatures.
- They thrive in open savannah, and agricultural fields are after all man-made grasslands.
- At one time, they were prized targets of royal and colonial hunts throughout the Indian subcontinent.
- The Mughals unleashed tame cheetahs on them, both predator and prey among the fleetest land mammals on the planet.
- Hunting depleted blackbuck numbers, and industrialisation and agriculture shrank its pan-Indian range.
- Today, blackbucks live in small pockets scattered around the country, such as Ranebennur Blackbuck Sanctuary in Karnataka.
- They enjoy maximum protection by law. But in Ganjam, these animals live in villages instead of well-guarded sanctuaries.