Berhampur: Nine years after the Central Zoo Authority’s directive to relocate all the mini zoos from educational institutions, the forest department has initiated the process for shifting the deer park located inside the campus of Berhampur University.
The deer would be shifted to a park, which is under construction, in Lakheri area of Paralakhemundi in Gajapati district.
Regarding the relocation, the university had written letters to the forest department on several occasions. The university had even deposited Rs 10 lakh with the forest department towards the cost of shifting the animals. Yet, the government and the forest department had not taken any steps to shift the animals.
Several reminders later, the forest department has decided to shift the park by the end of January.
According to Berhampur divisional forest officer (DFO) Amlan Kumar Nayak, an expert team from Nandankanan examined the health condition of the deer in the park in December. The shifting process would start towards the end of January when the construction work on the enclosure at Lakheri, which is currently underway, is expected to end.
Paralakhemundi DFO Vivek Kumar confirmed it that the enclosure’s construction work is on and it will end well before January 30.
Notably, the deer park was established in the university in 1991. The aim and objective behind setting up this park was that it would simultaneously help researchers of the zoology department in their research work and add beauty to the university.
With only two deer from Raj Bhavan, the park spread over an area of 2.02 acres was established during the tenure of the then administrator Prof CC Dash. Now the number of deer has reached 50. The university had been giving Rs 5 lakh to the zoology department per year for maintenance of the park and taking care of the animals.
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