The country's lone female nilgai -- the largest antelope in Asia -- died from critical injuries on Saturday night at Ramsagar National Park in Dinajpur.
Previously thought to be extinct in Bangladesh, the female nilgai, also known as blue bull, was rescued by forest department from Ranishankoil upazila of Thakurgaon on September 4 last year.
Abdus Salam Tuhin, a curator at the national park and also a forest official in Dinajpur, said the animal died around 7:00pm, soon after it tried to gallop away and slammed into a boundary fence of the park's enclosure where it was kept.
Nilgais are timid and afraid of humans. The creature was startled and leapt up when a staff member entered the enclosure around 6:40pm with its feed.
After hitting the fence, she fell on the ground and succumbed to her injuries within a few minutes. “We didn't get any chance to give treatment to the injured nilgai, which was also pregnant,” the curator added.
She became pregnant after a male nilgai, rescued from Naogaon's Manda upazila on January 22 this year, was brought to the park on February 9.
Veterinary experts from Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University (HSTU) in Dinajpur and livestock officials of Dinajpur conducted an autopsy of the nilgai.
Abdur Rahman, divisional forest officer in Dinajpur, said the cause of the nilgai's death would be ascertained after the autopsy report is available.
A three-member probe committee was formed to investigate into the incident. The committee -- led by Dr SM Harun-ur-Rashid, head of Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at HSTU -- was asked to submit its report within the shortest possible time.