Sambar deer rescued in Delhi, presence surprises experts

New Delhi, Dec 1 (IANS) A terrified male sambar deer rescued from a residential area here was relocated on Thursday, surprising both its rescuers and wildlife experts given its presence in the urban region.

The origin of the young male could not be known.

The animal was relocated in Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary after a six-hour-long rescue operation on Wednesday conducted by a team of eight volunteers from Wildlife SOS from a small park surrounded by urban cluster of Mayur Vihar.

“We have relocated it. Asola is not the natural habitat for the sambar but since we are unaware of its origin, the relocation was found most suitable,” an official from Wildlife SOS told IANS.

Following the sighting of a leopard in Yamuna Biodiversity Park a few days back, a sambar in urban cluster gets mixed reactions from the wildlife experts.

While some experts believe that spotting wild animal in micro habitats surrounded by urban cluster of Delhi is a good sign, others look into the reason of why those animals migrated from their original habitat in the first place.

As per Delhi forest department official V.B. Dasan, Delhi has a small population of sambar deer, about 25, in Delhi Golf Club and the Yamuna Biodiversity Park.

“Presence of sambar in that area is beyond our understanding as well. We are not sure how it reached there, because there is no corridor nearby and the population density is so high,” Faiyaz A. Khudsar, scientist in-charge of Yamuna Biodiversity Park, told IANS.

He added that it seem that the animal was a free ranging animal. Sambar, unlike Neelgai, is a typical woodland species and a serious browser and not grazer.

“To find a sambar in urban Delhi proves that there are micro habitats that support these species despite rapid urbanisation. However, what is of concern is that in cases of man-animal conflict, there is a lack of adequate crowd management and control,” said Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS.

–IANS

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