The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) directed shifting of deer from parks run by the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) at Maithon dam in Dhanbad and Chandrapura in Bokaro, forest department officials said on Monday.
The CZA cancelled the licence of the parks in May 2009 after finding that their infrastructure was inadequate to handle a growing number of animals, and recommended to the Centre for their closure.
The zoo authority wanted an increase in park areas, which the DVC failed to do. The corporation was reluctant to appoint full-time veterinarians for the parks, mandatory under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Spread over 30 acres on a hilly terrain of Hangla Pahadi, the Maithon park – a centre of attraction for tourists from West Bengal and Santhal Pargana districts of Jharkhand -- has 242 deer.
A favourite haunt of children in Chandrapura, the park spread over 10 acre was set up in 1990 with two deer couples. Over the years, it grew to house 42 deer.
“I received a letter from Dhanbad and Bokaro forest divisions regarding shifting of deer from the parks and steps have been initiated in this regard,” said Sanjay Kumar, director of the DVC’s soil conservation department.
“I am in constant touch with CZA and principal chief conservator of forest of Jharkhand. Deer from Chandrapura park will be shifted to Hazaribagh national park first. DVC has deposited `52 lakh for catching and transporting deer,” said Kumar.
Translocation of deer from the Maithon park poses a problem now as a major area of the park falls in West Bengal. “For transporting deer to Jharkhand forests, DVC will have to take permission from the Bengal wildlife department.”
A DVC official from Chandrapura said, “The ball is now in the court of Hazaribagh wildlife sanctuary. Since catching deer for translocation is a technical work that forest department experts can do, DVC has no role in implementing the zoo authority’s order.”