Mothers in this Indian tribe breastfeed deer

Published: May 1, 2016
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PHOTO: DR VINOD DAVE / COVER ASIA PRESS

PHOTO: DR VINOD DAVE / COVER ASIA PRESS

For more than half a century, mothers in the Bishnoi tribe in Rajasthan have been breastfeeding wild fawns along with their own children.

“These baby deer are my life and they’re like my own children,” said Mangi Devi Bishnoi, 45, a housewife from one of the villages.

PHOTO: DR VINOD/ COVER ASIA PRESS

Shocking as the sight is for outsiders, women in the tribe consider animals just as much a part of the family as their own offspring. “I feed them milk and food and ensure they’re given proper care and attention in the house like all my family members,” she added.

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The Bishnoi tribe takes in orphaned and injured fawns which would otherwise not be able to survive on their own. “They are not orphans when they have us around, they have new mothers like me who offer them a mother’s feed for a healthy life.”

PHOTO: DR VINOD DAVE/COVER ASIA PRESS

The people of the Bishnoi community, a religious group of nature worshippers, live next to jungles and deserted areas and often grow up playing with all sorts of animals. The community, which comprises of around 2,000 homes, have followed the Hindu Guru Sri Jambeshwar Bhagwan since the 15th century and religiously obey 29 rules suggested by their Guru. One of them is protection and love of animals and nature.

“I have grown up with these little deers. They’re like my brother or sister. It is our responsibility to keep them healthy and help them grow. We play with them and we communicate with each other, they understand our language,” Roshini Bishnoi, 21, a student in one of the villages, told Mail Online.

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The deer is believed to be a sacred animal of the community and is given special attention. “We have followed this way of living for over 550 years with a lot of love and affection,” another local, Ram Jeevan, 24, said.

PHOTO: DR VINOD DAVE / COVER ASIA PRESS

“My parents have never differentiated between a baby deer and me. We are one family and it is in our religion to protect them. We are very protective of our animals, especially the babies. We are helping them. Feeding them is what they need. We are very proud of what we do,” he added.

PHOTO: DR VINOD DAVE/ASIA PRESS COVER

This article originally appeared on Daily Mail

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Zafar
    May 1, 2016 - 3:17PM

    Unbeleivable. did not know this. Full respect to these women and mothers. God will compensate them for the hardship on this planet. There are lots of vacancies in paradise which will NOT be filled up any muslims who do not follwo priciples of Islam. Recommend

  • ali
    May 1, 2016 - 3:25PM

    fascinating Recommend

  • Brainy Bhaijan
    May 1, 2016 - 3:50PM

    Lol at the surma on baby’s eyes.
    These people are better human beings than all of us combined.Recommend

  • pk
    May 1, 2016 - 4:04PM

    Incredible India. Recommend

  • Thora Bora
    May 1, 2016 - 4:37PM

    Good. Respect!Recommend

  • baba
    May 1, 2016 - 5:54PM

    what if the deer bites…?Recommend

  • Rahul
    May 1, 2016 - 6:03PM

    In India we show respect to animals as well.Recommend

  • someone
    May 1, 2016 - 7:53PM

    These women took humanity to a whole new level.Recommend

  • Komal S
    May 2, 2016 - 12:15AM

    Unfortunately Salman Khan got the wrath of the Bishnoi when he supposedly hunted the blackbucks in their area. Recommend

  • Mubashir
    May 2, 2016 - 12:55AM

    Please censor these photos… Recommend

  • brar
    May 2, 2016 - 4:53AM

    They are nature lovers or worshipers they never cut even a tree and protect trees thus making the universe liveable as we know what we have done to the jungles , the trees are only source of oxygen and the Hindus worship peepal tree which is the onlt tree which discharges oxygen during night also.Recommend

  • salman
    May 2, 2016 - 10:47AM

    That’s just beautiful. Humanity at it’s peak.Recommend

  • anonymous
    May 2, 2016 - 1:03PM

    @Mubashir:
    grow upRecommend

  • D.K. Bishnoi
    May 3, 2016 - 7:19AM

    I am proud of to be Bishnoi.
    we never unjudge with animals and environment. We Make a best Ground for new generation. If we want best future and best living standard than necessary for save animals and environmenRecommend

  • G R BISHNOI
    May 3, 2016 - 3:23PM

    Save animal save earthRecommend

  • emily mwate
    Jun 5, 2016 - 11:05AM

    Just Beautiful !!!! Recommend

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