Cuttack: The renowned deer park in Tulasipur, Cuttack, is all set to close permanently as the Forest Department initiates the relocation of deer to a temporary rescue center at Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary. In compliance with the Orissa High Court’s directive and the Central Zoo Authority (CZA)’s caution regarding the need for sufficient space and a suitable environment for the animals, the Forest Department has already transferred 30 deer in two phases, with the entire process expected to conclude within a month.
The move to relocate the deer is in response to the CZA norms, which stipulate that a maximum of 15 deer can be accommodated within 2.5 acres of land. The Central Zoo Authority had withdrawn its recognition for Cuttack Deer Park in 2021, citing insufficient space for the animals.
The shifting process is being jointly executed by Chandaka forest department and Nandankanan authorities, utilizing a specially designated 70-acre enclosure at Chandaka-Dampada sanctuary. This decision aims to provide the deer with an improved habitat and environment.
The 42-year-old deer park, once a landmark and a favorite spot for children, is now facing closure, eliciting sadness from the local community. Some residents of Cuttack have urged authorities to retain a portion of the deer in the park, emphasizing its significance as a natural retreat within the city. Despite these pleas, the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) authorities express their inability to keep the park operational, citing the Forest Department’s decision and the impending road expansion plan that will demolish more than half of the park.
CMC Commissioner Nikhil Pawan Kalyan acknowledged the constraints, stating, “We will shift the entire park within a month. It is the decision of the Forest Department. We do not have a license anymore to keep these deer in the park. More than half of the park will be razed soon under the road expansion plan. But I will definitely discuss the issue with the government and forest department.”
Established in 1981 and originally spanning 2.5 acres, the deer park initially housed only five deer. Over the years, the population has surged to 296, leading to accommodation challenges.