Mysuru Zoo translocates 40 spotted deer to Kali Reserve Forest
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Mysuru Zoo translocates 40 spotted deer to Kali Reserve Forest

February 22, 2024

Mysore/Mysuru: After successfully translocating over 52 spotted deer to the Arabithittu Reserve Forests and Wildlife Sanctuary in Hunsur, relocating more than 13 Indian Gaur to the Tyavarekoppa Tiger and Lion Safari in Shivamogga, and transferring giraffes to both the Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bengaluru and the Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Zoological Park (Hampi Zoo), the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens (Mysuru Zoo) has achieved another milestone. It has now translocated 40 spotted deer (Axis axis) to the Panasoli Range of the Kali Tiger Reserve in Dandeli, Uttara Kannada District. Earlier too, the Zoo translocated sambar deer to Dandeli Forests.

A press release issued by Zoo Director Mahesh Kumar said that the Mysuru Zoo accomplished this significant feat on Feb. 21, with the successful translocation of the 40 Spotted Deer to the Kali Tiger Reserve. The operation was executed flawlessly, and all animals arrived at their destination on the morning of Feb. 21 with no reported mortality.

These spotted deer had undergone meticulous crate training over the past three months in preparation for their journey. The shifting process, referred to by Zoo authorities as a ‘soft release,’ involves placing the cage in the animal enclosure for acclimatisation. Each custom-built cage can hold seven to eight spotted deer.

Special care was taken to familiarise the animals with the enclosure, ensuring they do not panic inside the cage during transportation. The staff involved in this process have prior experience transporting animals via road. Green fodder and food were placed inside the cages to encourage the animals to enter and acclimatise.

2.5-acre enclosed area for quarantine                                                                      

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Upon arrival at the Kali Tiger Reserve, the deer were placed in a specially designated 2.5-acre enclosed area for quarantine purposes. During this period, they will adapt to their new environment while undergoing health and fitness assessments. Initially, the deer will be provided with a diet similar to what they received at the Mysuru Zoo, gradually transitioning to their natural diet over time.

This translocation effort aims to bolster the population of spotted deer within the Kali Tiger Reserve, thereby contributing to broader conservation endeavours in the region, said Mahesh Kumar.

In 2019, when the Mysuru Zoo translocated 52 spotted deer to the Arabithittu Reserve Forest and Wildlife Sanctuary, the challenges were minimal due to the relatively short distance between Mysuru and Hunsur, approximately 50 kilometres, compared to the distance to Dandeli, which is over 500 kilometres.

According to sources from the Zoo, the deer translocated to Arabithittu are thriving, and their population has now multiplied to over 200. With the introduction of both herbivore and prey animals, the biodiversity of Arabithittu is flourishing, transforming what was once a dry area.

Notably, as per the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), a zoo should ideally have 30-40 deer. Currently, the Mysuru Zoo has an excess number of deer, resulting in overcrowded enclosures and as such, the translocation decision was taken.


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