Bhopal: Five rare Barasinghas (swamp deer), found only in Madhya Pradesh's Kanha Tiger Reserve, will be translocated to Van Vihar National Park here this month.
"We are going to shift five Barasinghas from KTR to Van Vihar this month," State Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Narendra Kumar told PTI.
He said the move is being taken to ensure that the Barasinghas do not become extinct in case of an outbreak of a disease at the tiger reserve spread over Mandla and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh.
Right now, there were around 550 Barasinghas in KTR.
In 1967, the population of Barasinghas dipped to an all time low of 66.
Some wildlife experts suspect that they fell prey to tigers and other carnivores due to their inability to enter deep forests as they have huge antlers.
After this, forest officials tried to trans-locate them but the effort failed to bear fruit. The deer died before reaching their new home in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve.
"A previous attempt to shift Barasinghas was made in early 1980s but it didn't work," KTR director J S Chauhan said.
"At that time, the tranquilising methodology and transporting was not as modernized as it was now," he said.
He said Barasinghas are found only in KTR.
If this translocation effort is successful, then another bid to shift 50 more Barasinghas from Kanha to Satpura Tiger Reserve will be made, a senior forest official said.