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4,000 Spotted Deer Missing From Balukhand-Konark Sanctuary After Cyclone Fani Traced

Separate herds of the spotted deer were noticed near water bodies inside the sanctuary on Wednesday and their pictures have been captured on camera, said Divisional Forest Officer Harshvardhan Udgata.

PTI

Updated:May 16, 2019, 3:34 PM IST
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4,000 Spotted Deer Missing From Balukhand-Konark Sanctuary After Cyclone Fani Traced
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Bhubaneswar: In a major relief to forest officials and nature lovers, many spotted deer that went missing from Balukhand-Konark sanctuary during cyclone 'Fani' have been traced, a forest official said Thursday. About 4,000 spotted deer were missing from the sanctuary located in Puri district of Odisha.

Separate herds of the spotted deer were noticed near water bodies inside the sanctuary on Wednesday and their pictures have been captured on camera, said Divisional Forest Officer Harshvardhan Udgata. Efforts were on to trace all the other missing spotted deer, he said.

The 'extremely severe cyclone' made landfall in Puri town on Odisha coast on May 3 and passed through the sanctuary with high-velocity winds with speed of 200 kmph. A day after the cyclone, the deer and other animals were not seen in the sanctuary even as forest officials launched a foot patrolling in the area.

Mentioning that officials have so far recovered only one carcass of a deer, Udgata said they suspect that most of the animals had taken shelter near cashew trees inside the sanctuary.

The state government on Tuesday had decided to use drones to locate the missing spotted deer. The sanctuary, spread over an area of 72 square kilometres, is a known habitat of around 4,000 spotted deer apart from other animals. The sanctuary, where antelopes and jackals are also found, is now closed to visitors.

At least 64 people were killed and more than five lakh dwelling units were damaged by cyclone Fani in the state's coastal districts. Over 14 lakh trees were uprooted and 40.70 lakh animals perished in the calamity.

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