Nursing mothers here in this remote region in Rajasthan, a state in northern India, have taken in orphaned and injured fawns for more than half a century - and couldn't imagine it being any other way.
‘These baby deers are my life and they’re like my own children,’ said Mangi Devi Bishnoi, 45, a housewife from one of the villages.‘I feed them milk and food and ensure they’re given proper care and attention in the house like all my family members. '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.’
Roshini Bishnoi, 21, a student in one of the villages, told MailOnline: ‘
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.’
Neighbour Ram Jeevan Bishnoi, 24, added: ‘
We do not see them as just animals. They are very much like a family member.
'My parents have never differentiated between a baby deer and me. We are one family and it is in our religion to protect them.’
One is the protection and love of animals and nature. They take care of the flora, fauna and protect the animals from the summer heat or potential poachers.
However, the deer is believed to be a sacred animal of the community and is given special attention.