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Cyclone Fani raises safety concerns about spotted deer in Balukhand sanctuary

The sanctuary is located along the Bay of Bengal coast, between the towns of Puri and Konark in Odisha.

Cyclone Fani raises safety concerns about spotted deer in Balukhand sanctuary
Photo: Twitter

Bhubaneswar: Concerns have been raised by a senior wildlife official on the safety of spotted deer in Balukhand sanctuary, in view of the likely landfall of Cyclone Fani close to the place on Friday.

The sanctuary is located along the Bay of Bengal coast, between the towns of Puri and Konark in Odisha.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) A K Mohapatra told PTI, the fate of about 3,000 spotted deer in the sanctuary has become uncertain as wild animals cannot be shifted to safe places like human beings.

"There is no specific plan for their protection. The bamboo groves and Casuarina plants inside the sanctuary may help the animals to protect themselves," he said.

Forest officials are trying to generate awareness among the local people not to harm the animals and provide them shelter during the cyclone.

However, the effort is unlikely to help the spotted deer as the locals will struggle for their own survival during the calamity, a local said.

Though Odisha government has launched the country's biggest evacuation drive to save the lives of people living in low-lying areas, there is no specific plan to rescue wild animals.

The cyclone is likely to hit the coast near Puri by Friday afternoon.

The Balukhand Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a variety of animals, including spotted deer, monkeys, jungle cats, hyenas, monitor lizards and snakes.