Puri: State Forest and Environment department is planning to deploy drones to track and monitor the health condition of spotted deer at Balukhand sanctuary in the district. Balukhand sanctuary, spread over an area of 71 sq km, was home to around 4000 spotted deer along with wild boar, jackals, striped hyenas and wolves.
Forest officials said that they have received the report of the death of only one deer so far in the sanctuary area. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (wildlife), Ajay Kumar Mohapatra said that the deer have started to return to their habitat.
“We have information of deer visiting the water bodies created in the sanctuary area. We have also started the process of clearing of 26 meadows. Our people are also engaged in clearing uprooted trees so that we can observe the deer,” said Mohapatra.
The deer have reportedly deserted the sanctuary area in the aftermath of cyclone Fani. The sanctuary is stretched along the coast of Puri –Konark was the worst sufferer of the cyclone as lakhs of trees were uprooted.
“We are collecting intelligence about possible confinement of deer in neighbouring villages. We are hopeful that all herds which were present before the cyclone will return to the habitat,” said a forest official.