Nandankanan Zoological Park in Odisha begins relocating surplus animals

Currently, the zoo houses around 2,000 spotted deer in its enclosure which also includes the herbivorous safari spread over 33 hectare.
Nandankanan Zoological Park
Nandankanan Zoological Park

BHUBANESWAR: To deal with overcrowding, the Nandankanan Zoological Park here has started relocating its surplus animals and reptile species to protected areas in the state.

Sources said the zoo authorities received nod from the wildlife headquarters for relocation of a surplus number of barking deer, spotted deer, common palm civet and mugger. Permission for the same was accorded based on the proposal submitted by Nandankanan to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), a zoo official said.

Accordingly, Nandankanan will relocate around 600 spotted deer. While the process to release 100 spotted deer into Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary has already started, another 200 of them will be shifted to Satkosia Tiger Reserve and Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary each. This apart, 100 spotted deer will be taken to Kandhara reserve forest in Dhenkanal.

Currently, the zoo houses around 2,000 spotted deer in its enclosure which also includes the herbivorous safari spread over 33 hectare.

Similarly, 25 surplus black bucks will be released to Balukhand sanctuary in Puri of which 10 have already been shifted in the first phase. Around 25 barking deer will also be released to Chandaka of which six have been released recently, while five common palm civets have also been released as per the relocation permission.

This besides, the zoo has been accorded permission to release 30 mugger (marsh crocodile) into the river system of Similipal Tiger Reserve. It has been asked to keep 20 saltwater crocodiles without further breeding.

“The relocation is being carried out as per the guidelines of Central Zoo Authority (CZA),” the zoo official said adding, screening and random sampling of the surplus animals are being done before their relocation.

Other than preventing overcrowding of enclosures, relocation of surplus population of different species to the wild is intended at improving prey base of the protected areas in the identified divisions, he said.

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