Chennai

Spotted deer moved to Kalakkad reserve

The 700-km translocation of 10 deer is said to be a first in the country

In what is touted to be a first in the country, the Tamil Nadu Forest Department has reportedly carried out a long-distance translocation of 10 spotted deer on a pilot basis from the Guindy National Park to the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve — a distance of over 700 km — without any casualty.

Senior officials of the Forest Department said the transfer of deer was risky, as they often die when humans try to handle them. The transit began on Wednesday evening and they were released in the Mundathurai plateau on Thursday evening.

According to the Forest Department, there are over 1,500 spotted deer in and around Chennai.

So far, nearly 150 deer have been captured, of which about 50% have been released in the nearby reserve forests and the Guindy National Park, and the remaining have been kept in quarantine for release in batches.

Officials said these animals, living outside the reserve forest areas, feed on solid waste, left-over food and plastic bags. They are also prone to accidents and diseases, said C.H. Padma, Chennai wildlife warden.

In order to prevent such problems, Sanjay Kumar Srivastava, principal chief conservator of forests, decided to shift the deer to the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, where its population had dwindled.

The truck’s interiors were designed like a forest and feed was kept inside. “Since they are sensitive animals, a ramp was placed from the quarantine into the truck and they walked into the vehicle,” added Ms. Padma.

“Instructions have been given to the forest staff to monitor the animals for a month,” she said.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 7:43:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/spotted-deer-moved-to-kalakkad-reserve/article28103861.ece

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