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Days of the jackal at Guindy National Park

The Hindu, New Delhi, September 19, 2014

 

The number of animals found in the area now touches nearly 80 Waking up to see the face of a jackal brings good luck; so goes a Tamil saying. If so, the forest guards, watchers and rangers in Children’s Park and the staff of Raj Bhavan ought to be quite lucky as they often get to see jackals crossing their path. What began as a group of four jackals that was released into the Guindy National Park (GNP) from the enclosure in Children’s Park in 1998 has now grown in leaps and bounds. According to Wildlife authorities, nearly 80 jackals, including 25 puppies, can be found inside the GNP now.

 

Availability of feed, minimal disturbance from humans and a natural forest has helped these animals thrive, say authorities. K.S.S.V.P. Reddy, zoo director and additional principal chief conservator of forests, said since 1998, jackals, either captive or those rescued from individuals, have been regularly released into the GNP. Slowly, they have adapted to this environment and their population has been increasing. K. Geethanjali, wildlife warden, Chennai said that recently, field staff noticed a family of jackals including five puppies near the Polo Ground area. While the animals, unlike their cousins in the wild, do not have the ability to hunt down deer, they do manage to keep a check on the spotted deer population in the area as they feed on fawns. The GNP has nearly 1,500 spotted deer now, she said.