The Odisha government on Tuesday decided to use drones to locate about 4,000 spotted deer that lived in the Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary, on the coast between Puri and Konark, before Cyclone Fani struck on May 3.
55 lakh trees damaged
Although the sanctuary with nearly 55 lakh trees was badly ravaged by the cyclone, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Ajay Kumar Mohapatra expressed hope that the deer had survived the storm.
Stating that the forest department staff had found only one carcass of a spotted deer so far, Mr. Mohapatra said they are planning to use drones to track and monitor the health condition of the spotted deer in the sanctuary.
Mr. Mohapatra said they had information about the deer visiting the waterbodies created in the sanctuary area. The forest department staff were engaged in clearing the uprooted trees to track the deer population, he added.
The department officials are hoping that the large number of cashew trees in the sanctuary might have protected the deer during the cyclone. The sanctuary, spread over 72 sq km, is now closed to visitors.
A large number of trees had also been uprooted at Nandankanan Zoological Park in Bhubaneswar. The zoo officials, however, said it will be opened for public from May 21.