Cuttack, Jan 3: The famous deer park in Tulasipur in Cuttack is slated for closure as the Forest Department undertakes the relocation of deer to a temporary rescue center at Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary.
While 30 deer have already been shifted in two phases, the entire process of shifting nearly 300 deer will be completed within a month. The relocation is being facilitated by the Chandaka forest department and Nandankanan authorities, with the animals finding refuge in a 70-acre special enclosure at Chandaka-Dampada sanctuary.
This decision follows a response from the Orissa High Court and a warning from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) regarding the necessity of providing adequate space and a suitable environment for the animals in the park. Although the purpose of relocating the deer is to offer them a better habitat, long-time animal keepers at the Cuttack Deer Park, who have nurtured the deer for decades, express their sorrow over the transfer.
The closure of the 42-year-old deer park, once a landmark and a favorite among local children, has left the community disheartened. Some locals have appealed to authorities to retain at least 10-15 deer in the park to preserve its charm and keep it operational. However, the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) cites its inability to keep the park open due to the Forest Department's decision and the lack of a license to house the deer. Additionally, part of the park is slated for demolition as part of a road expansion plan.
The deer park, established in 1981 on a 2.5-acre plot, initially housed five deer, but the population has since grown to 296, causing spatial challenges. The CMC's decision aligns with the directives of the Orissa High Court and the CZA, which withdrew its recognition of Cuttack Deer Park in 2021, citing insufficient space for the animals.