MAHENDRANAGAR: The number of endangered black bucks (antelopes) has increased at Shuklaphanta Wild Life Reserve. Fifteen months ago, 22 antelopes from a zoo in Nepalgunj Municipality and six from Lalitpur Sadar Zoo were transferred to Shuklaphanta Wild Life Reserve. The number has now reached 33.
Four one-horned rhinoceros were transferred from Chitwan National Park to Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve 12 years ago.
“Shuklaphanta has proved to be a safe home for the black buck listed as endangered, after its number grew,” experts said.
Fifteen females and 12 male antelopes transferred at Hirapur Phant of Shuklaphanta have given birth to six baby antelopes whose gender is yet to be identified. National Nature Protection Fund Shuklaphanta Office Chief Hemant Kumar Yadav said that as many as 19 antelopes were born after the animals transferred to the reserve.
Of the newborn babies, five died. According to Yadav, the survival rate for the newborn black bucks is 74 per cent, which suggests that the wildlife reserve is a habitable place for the animals. “Survival rate of the new born black buck shows that Shuklaphanta is suitable for antelopes,” Yadav added.
Yadav said preparation was on to transfer black bucks from Bardiya’s black buck protected area in Khairapur to Shuklaphanta Wild Life Reserve. “A technical team will bring male antelopes from Bardiya’s Khairapur after the government agrees,” Yadav added. The habitat for the antelopes is being extended to 12 hectares from seven-and-a-half hectares.
Protection officer Yubaraj Regmi at Shuklaphanta Wild Life Reserve said the rising number of antelopes had increased the attraction of the reserve from the tourist point of view as well. Around 300 antelopes included in the protected wildlife list are found at Bardiya’s Khairapur. Earlier, black bucks could be found only in Nepalgunj, Lalitpur’s Sadar Zoo, Bardiya’s Khairapur and Kathmandu’s Mrigasthali.