The state government, following the successful relocation of deer from Cuttack, is now planning to introduce Sambar deer and Gaur (bison) into the Chandaka-Dampara wildlife sanctuary.
The Forest department is gearing up to launch a unique ‘nocturnal trail’ within the sanctuary, designed for wildlife enthusiasts, particularly students and researchers. The introduction of these animals will play a pivotal role in this initiative.
A forest official revealed that a plan is in motion for the introduction of Sambar deer in February, with a proposal to bring bison taking shape soon. The Sambar deer will be sourced from the department’s enclosure in Taptapani, Ganjam, and around 15 of them are expected to be brought in February. Plans are also underway to introduce Gaurs in the Bharatpur section of Chandaka forest, with potential sources being explored, including Debrigarh. Once finalized, a relocation scheme will be implemented, contributing significantly to the habitat enrichment.
Officials emphasized that this relocation effort will enhance the wildlife experience for visitors, students, and researchers who will soon be permitted to explore the nocturnal trail within the Bharatpur section of the sanctuary. The proposal for the nocturnal trail has already received approval from the wildlife wing of the Forest Department.
Preceding the initiative’s launch, approximately 274 deer from Cuttack Park have been brought to the Bharatpur enclosure. However, officials anticipate that their release into the wild may take six to 12 months.
Spanning 194 sq km, the Chandaka-Dampara sanctuary is home to various wildlife species, including elephants, barking deer, and porcupines. The upcoming nocturnal trail, a pioneering program in the state, is expected to be a valuable resource for students and researchers from institutions, schools, and colleges in the state capital and its vicinity. It is anticipated to enhance their understanding of forests and wildlife, providing a unique educational experience.