HOPE VALLEY, RI (CBS) – A Nilgai, or exotic antelope, is roaming loose in Rhode Island after it escaped from a private farm in the Hope Valley area.
Rhode Island environmental officials have put out an alert about the animal, saying they are concerned for the public’s safety.
The Nilgai weighs about 500 lbs and resembles a large deer. The animal, which was in the process of being relocated to Texas, escaped right after being hit by a tranquilizer dart.
With deer hunting currently in season, health officials are concerned because the injection makes the meat from this Nilgai dangerous and possibly even deadly if eaten.
“If a hunter mistakenly harvests the animal it should be immediately reported to the Division of Law Enforcement and the animal must not be consumed,” the Dept. of Environmental Management said in a statement.
DEM has posted warning signs with photos of the animal in the area where it escaped.