Who took the Deer out of Deer Park?!

Dear Deer

It has recently come into the news that the Deer Park in Hauz Khas is losing what gives it its peculiar name and fame; the deer!

The CZA (Central Zoo Authority) has proposed a relocation of over 600 deer, leaving none in the enclosure, hence forfeiting the title of a mini zoo. The reason for this relocation is allegedly the overpopulation, combined with mismanagement under the DDA, as well as lack of space.

At a Glance

It may make sense for the deer to be transferred to a better place with more space, less confinement and within their natural habitats in an ecosystem, however, it is important to note and analyze what is truly beneficial for deer and what is dumping of their responsibilities by the authorities.

A simple solution

Now, the deer within the deer park occupy a total enclosed area of just 10 acres as compared to the total area of 64 acres of the whole park. One of the most simple solutions is just expanding that area in order to accommodate the deer, as well as separate the two sexes to avoid a further population boom.

However, the decision of sending the deer to Rajasthan and Asola Bhatti wildlife sanctuary is less than thoughtful on the authority’s part. Surely, the deer in Rajasthan would be happy and healthy in their natural habitat, but the problem arises in the mere transportation itself. Deer being relocated in such large numbers in dire conditions (as it is in every transfer) is animal cruelty at its best, and the death of a lot of them is certain.

Further, the deer hold sentimental value for the visitors and local residents at deer park, which is something that cannot be replaced, and provides a direct connection to nature which is scarce during this day and age. Rather than getting rid of the problem through the easiest way possible, it is absolutely imperative to think about the future and the kind of loss we would incur by making this rash decision.

Problem with the solution proposed

Given by the CZA is a short drive relocation to Delhi’s Asola Bhatti wildlife sanctuary. It may or may not solve the problem to deer dying in transportation, but it seems that the authorities just cannot solve this issue without a massacre. They fail to recognise that not all forests are the same, and the one in Asola is not made for a deer population. There is not enough fodder for the potentially incoming fleet of deer except the infamous pods of the invasive Vilayati Keekar, and eventually, they themselves would become fodder for the leopards and hyenas at Asola. 

Invasive species

The forest department has long hoped to fix the invasion of the Vilayati Keekar in Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary, but this decision might just counteract that. Till the time they would be alive, they would disperse the seeds of the invasive plant, further ruining the ecosystem beyond repair along with the ecology through their droppings, and eventually meet their end in the belly of the spotted feline.

This is not the first rodeo for the authorities, which may as well be regarded as a declaration of love for the leopards’ appetite; over the years, 20,000 monkeys have been dropped at the biodiversity park through the excuse of giving them a better life, and inevitably sentenced them to death through starvation and feline means.


Public feedback

A lot of protest has gone into trying to save the deer at deer park, including a lot of environmentalists writing to the authorities, common folk protesting in order to create awareness
regarding the issue and more.

The deer are to be transported after their breeding season which is in the winter season, therefore
there is still some time left to reassess and reconsider our decision. When the people responsible
are not realizing their errors and oversight, it is our responsibility as citizens to challenge the ones in power for what is right.

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