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Drones To Trace 4000-Odd Spotted Deer Missing From Balukhand Sanctuary After FANI

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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Forest Department is at its wits end as around 4000 spotted deer disappeared from the Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary after the landfall of extremely severe cyclonic storm FANI.

While Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray had on Monday said that some deer have been noticed and efforts are on to rescue and rehabilitate them, PCCF (WildLife) Ajay Kumar Mohapatra today informed that they will be using drones and manpower for the purpose.

Mohapatra said that they had first tried a sample drone but the uprooted trees posed as major hindrance in the process. However, they are planning to engage more drones in different zones to sort out the carcass as though the deer are expected to be safe, the death of some cannot be denied.

While bodies of a deer and a jackal have been discovered till date, the department is in contact with nearby villages to find out any information about the missing deer, said Mohapatra adding as forest roads have been cleared, forest staff are now able to access different zones and patrolling to find out any carcass or any injured animal

Mohapatra further informed that, as some deer are coming to the water bodies to drink water, the forest staff have been directed to create artificial water bodies and also asked to dump green leaves near the water bodies for the deer to feed on.

They have also demanded Rs 14 crore from the government for restoration work, he added.

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Bijayshree Routray, Forest & Environment Minister, Odisha

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Ajay Kumar Mohapatra, PCCF (WildLife), Odisha