The district forest officials are on a mission to provide relief from soaring mercury levels to several different species of birds and deer at Rajiv Gandhi Deer Park. The deer park, situated on the outskirts of the city, is a main tourist attraction in Karimnagar.
It houses various bird species besides a herd of deer amounting to 90.
Initially, the park provided shelter to 5 deer and the number has constantly increased. This year the number of deer has reached 90 from 75 last year.
The park now has different species of deer like shagai, sambar, neelgai, spotted deer and black buck brought from various places.
The constantly rising temperatures in the summer are a cause of worry for the forest officials. Sheds were erected to protect the deer from severe heat and more number of trees were planted near their enclosures for cool breeze and shade.
Keeping in view of the past experiences, the authorities are maintaining water ponds near the deer enclosures and are drawing water from nearby lower Maniar dam (LMD) reservoir.
“During peak hot hours, the deer and the little fawns plunge into the nearby pond to escape heat,” deputy forest range officer and deer park in-charge B Bhadraiah told Express.
Beautiful flower gardens, water fountains, lush green lawns, library on environmental sciences, museum on ecological system and a chirpy bird sanctuary greet the visitors. “The bird sanctuary has about 10 to 15 species of birds including national bird peacock. Our staff spray water on regular basis to provide adequate cooling,” he said.
Special care is taken over feeding these animals. The deer graze on pupil tree and ‘Dirishena’ tree leaves in the morning. “We also cattle feed and in the afternoon and cut vegetables in the evening to feed these animals. The birds get ground pulses and vegetables like tomatoes. Outside food is a strict no-no as it will pose a danger to animals and birds in the summer,” said the deputy forest range officer.