The first batch of mouse deer released by the Nehru Zoological Park into the wild habitat are adapting well as evidenced through the camera traps, and more animals will be released shortly, a press statement from the zoo said on Wednesday.
On July 17, the zoo had released eight mouse deer from the soft release site inside Amrabad forest area, into the wild, in first phase of the project. Buoyed by the response, the authorities are hopeful of successful reintroduction of all the 300 deer bred in zoo, into the wild.
The conservation breeding in the zoo began in 2010 with two males and four females. Funded and monitored by the Central Zoo Authority, New Delhi. the number has grown to 300. The guidelines and protocol of CZA have been strictly followed while taking up the conservation breeding, the note said.
Genetic profiling of these animals was done by LaCONES, whereby suitable animals were identified for release into natural forest.
Once the conservation breeding is successful, it was decided to enter into the second phase of conservation, which was introduction into the natural habitats. For this, a total of 28 animals were first released phase-wise into the two-acre mouse deer rehabilitation and soft release facility at Pichakuntla Cheruvu, Amrabad forest area, Achampet, Nagarkurnool district, before eight among them were released into wild, the note said.
The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) guidelines for reintroduction of the wild animals are being followed while taking up the release into the soft release facility and further release into the wild, it said.