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| Last Updated:: 13/07/2019

60 deer rescued in city set to go to forest





Nearly 60 free ranging spotted deer, rescued from various places in the city, are set to be translocated in the wild. While 10 deer are at the Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) in Tirunelveli district, the next batch is being readied for the shift to the southern forest.



Chief Wildlife Warden and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Sanjay Kumar Srivastava told TOI that one of the deer released in Mundanthurai range was recently killed by a leopard, while the movement of the rest is being monitored. All members of the herd, which according to officials has been taken over by a male from KMTR, sport a streak of pain on their bodies to differentiate them from other spotted deer in the reserve, he said.



“We want to monitor those animals at least for a month. Only then will the next batch will be released from the rehabilitation centre in the Children’s Park in Guindy, where the rescued deer are housed. All of them will be released in batches. The place of release will be decided very soon,” he said.



Another wildlife official said the original plan was to release the deer in reserved forests closer to Chennai city, but the prevailing water situation in the city and its suburbs led officials to change the plan.



At least another 500 spotted deer are still found roaming freely in residential areas such as Taramani, Adambakkam, Ekkatuthangal, Velachery, Perungudi, Saidapet, Adyar, Kotturpuram and Nandanam, said the official. Most of them, face threats from speeding vehicles and at times from packs of stray dogs. They feed on food leftovers and in some cases residents feed them.



The absence of predators and the fact that the ungulates are prolific breeders has led to the deer population outside the Guindy National Park and IIT-M campus, where they still exist in large numbers, going up substantially, the official said.





Source: The Times of India, 13 July 2019, Chennai.