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Rise in number of animals in Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kendrapada, Dec 5:

The number of wildlife animals has increased in the Bhitarkanika National Park located in the Kendrapara district, according to recent animal census.

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In November for three days, starting 21 to 23 counting of all wild animals in the park had taken place.

Last year, 1872 deer were located, this year the number has increased to 3125. While, wild boars numbers has increased from 1213 in 2014 to 1394 this year.

In 2014 a total of 5,043 wild animals were counted in the protected forest, this year the number has increased to 6,213, Rajnagar DFO, Bimal Prasan Acharya has said.

The forest official has said that the Kanika range has a total of 3187 wild animals, within them 1891 deer, 498 boars, 4 Sambar deer, 711 monkeys, 28 jackals, 4 hyenas, 37 otters, 8 wild boars, 3 porcupines, 3 Cheetahs.

Similarly, in the Rajnagar range has 2057 wild animals, including 1051 deer, 647 boar, 285 monkeys, 64 jackals, 23 wild cat, 18 seal, and 4 mongooses.  In the Gahirmatha Marine Range there are 9 deer, 51 wild boar, 15 monkeys, 19 small monkeys, 11 jackal, and 50 seals.

In the Mahakalpada range there are 191 deer, 198 boars, 283 monkeys, 38 jackal, 5 wild cats, 10 seals, while, Kujang range 19 deer’s, 19 monkeys, 45 jackals, 8 hyenas, 7 seals, 7 mongooses, 18 foxes, 7 rabbits  were found there.

The forest officials have said that sambar deer can only be found in Bhitarkanika region, 4 and 8 hyenas in Kujang and Bhitarkanika respectively.

Wild cat, Chetah, porcupine, have been seen only in the Kanika range, fox and rabbit are found in Kujang range.

Notably, the animal census had been done for the first time last year in Bhitarkanika. The wildlife sanctuary has more than 30 thousand deer population and 28 thousand boars, locals have claimed.

While, such low animal head count by the forest officials has raised questions by the environmentalists and animal welfare activists.