First-of-its-kind night trail launched in Bharatpur forest

Though Chandaka Wildlife Division has 13 vehicles for day safari, two of them will be used in each slot during the night trail.
Students walk to a temporary deer enclosure during the night trail.
Students walk to a temporary deer enclosure during the night trail.

BHUBANESWAR : A nocturnal trail at Bharatpur forest of Chandaka wildlife sanctuary, billed as the first-of-its-kind in eastern India, was launched on Monday.

PCCF Wildlife Susanta Nanda flagged off the night trail vehicles to facilitate students and researchers understand and study the forest and wildlife during night.

Around 100 students from KISS, SAI International, DAV Chandrasekharpur, Kendriya Vidyalaya of Chandrasekharpur and CRPF campus and Triveni School were taken on the trail on the first day between 6 pm and 8 pm.

Chandaka divisional forest officer (DFO) Sarat Chandra Behera said the students sighted elephant, deer, wild boar and rabbit from a safe distance on the first day itself. The students were briefed about different species found in the Chandaka-Dampara wildlife sanctuary.

As per plan, the night trail in Bharatpur forests will be available initially for three days - Monday, Thursday and Saturday - between 6 pm and 8 pm. The trail in the first slot will start at 6 pm and the second from 7 pm.

Though Chandaka wildlife division has 13 vehicles for day safari, two of them will be used in each slot during night trail. Spread over 194 sq km, the Chandaka-Dampara sanctuary is home to several wildlife species.

The DFO said the first-of-its-kind trail in the state and in the eastern region of India will be a great opportunity for students to learn more about wildlife nocturnal species. “If wildlife is not disturbed during the trail, we may increase the number of vehicles as well as number of slots,” he said.

Chief conservator of forests Manoj V Nair and other senior forest officials were also present during the inauguration. Behera said the night trail will help forest staff in night patrolling on Bharatpur side of Chandaka which is vulnerable to trespassing during night.

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