May 7, 2015

owlet-on-daruOdisha Channel Bureau Jagatsinghpur, May 7: The Odisha Forest Department’s mission to rescue the owlets from the holy Neem tree identified as lord Jagannath’s sacred logs in Jagatsinghpur district’s Kharipada village has failed to yield the desired result.Various methods were put to use to capture the birds.However, things have come a cropper as servitors forbade them to go anywhere near to the sacred tree, the logs of which are going to be used for carving out Jagannath idol during the forthcoming Nabakalebara festival in Puri.Officials of Cuttack territorial forest division, Nandankanan Zoological Park besides bird experts are doing duty at the Daru site at present to ensure the safety of the endangered spotted owlets, said officials.Due to vehement opposition from servitors, wildlife staffs were directed not to climb up the holy tree. The department had pressed into service hydraulic ladders and had spread out nets with trained staffs perched atop the elevated ladders.Recorded audio voices of owls were also played to distract the owlets so that they could be netted.But it failed to impact the birds as they stood motionless on the tree branch.We are waiting till 9 May for our next course of action when the holy tree would be pulled down, said Divisional Forest Officer of Cuttack Territorial Forest Division Sudarshan Behera.The officials of Cuttack Forest Division swung into action today to rescue the avian species as departmental higher-ups taking note of a petition by wildlife activist Biswajit Mohanty had initiated steps to ensure the safety of owlets perched on the holy tree.We paid respect to religious tradition and refrained from climbing up the tree.Two owlets that come under endangered species category under Wildlife Protection Act provisions were spotted while the chicks could not be sighted.Owlets’ nest also could not be located, said Behera.The officials are stationed at the Daru site and are maintaining watch on the movement owlets.Strategy to rescue the owlets is being worked out.It would take at least two more days for conclusion of Daru rituals and the felling down of the tree.Step to catch the birds is being contemplated so that they could be safely relocated to Nandankanan Zoological Park, the official added.

May 7, 2015 0 Comment