Surat : In an attempt to increase the population of herbivorous animals in the forest, restore food-chain and reduce the human-leopard conflict in South Gujarat, seven spotted deer were soft released from Deer breeding centre, jointly run by Surat-based Nature Club Surat (NCS) and the Forest department at Vansda National Park.
The spotted deer were bred at Shri Digvrendrasinh deer breeding project at Vansda—run by the city-based NCS in coordination with the forest department—backed by the UPL CSR Trust SRSAT.
NCS volunteers said the soft release of the spotted deer was undertaken in the presence of Minister of forest and tribal development, Ganpatsinh Vasava on Saturday.
Vasava was happy to note the success of project. So far 32 animals are wild released and seven are soft released, totaling 39 releases. These includes 3 four horned antelopes as well.
Maharaja of Vansda Hon. Jaidigvirendrasingh Solanki also remained present and appreciated the work done by NCS and forest department. The project is named after maharaja of Vansda Shri Digvirendrasingh Solakni.
MP Dr. K.C Patel, Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF), Valsad Muniswaran Raja, DFO Ahwa Nileshbhai Pandya , DFO Ahwa Agneshwar Vyash and all office bearers and volunteers of NCS remained present.
Snehal Patel of NCS told TOI, “The deer breeding project is being run successfully in close co-ordination of forest department and the UPL Limited’s CSR Trust SRSAT. These spotted deer are very shy and usually hard to spot in wild habitats due to their small size”
According to Patel, NCS is breeding four-horned antelope successfully for the last four years. Earlier NCS along with the Forest department successfully released close to 30 spotted deer in the wild habitats of Vansda National Park.
NCS has also been planning to conduct awareness programs in and around Vansda National Park for achieving peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife, said Patel.
A forest officer in Vansda National Park said, “The spotted deer are soft released in an enclosure. We will monitor their behaviour in the enclosure, track their movements etc. for few days. If they are found fit and healthy, we will recommend the higher authorities in the forest department for the permission to release them in the wild.”