BAHAWALPUR: The administration of National Park Lal Sohanra has recommended to the Punjab Wildlife Department to dispose of more than 100 surplus and aged blackbucks to rationalise their number at the park, while it may also fetch a sum of around Rs5 million for the forest department.

The step is being taken to reduce overcrowding of aged male blackbucks at the park’s enclosures.

Divisional Forest Officer Ijaz Ahmed Tabbasum told Dawn that presently the surplus stock of some 120 blackbucks were kept in the park’s two enclosures RD-25 and RD -65, and the number of these animals was needed to be rationalised in accordance with the international standards to maintain health of the remaining stock.

He said the presently the park housed total 477 blackbucks, including 153 males, 129 females and 195 fawns. The present male to female ratio of the animals in the enclosures was 0.8, while the international standard required it to be 0.5, he added.

He said due to such a large number of aged male blackbucks in the park, fights occurred between them over female partners for mating which harmed the stock’s breeding and health in the enclosures.

To resolve the issue, he said it had been decided to rationalise their number and dispose of the aged blackbucks so that their population in the enclosures could be maintained as per the international standards.

He said the proposal had been forwarded to the provincial government and if approved, it was expected to fetch an income of some Rs5 million to the forest department.

He said the animals could be offered for open auction or a price might be fixed for the interested buyers.

He said as per the PM’s vision, the park administration had organised a tree planting campaign in the park.

RPO: Regional Police Officer (RPO) Muhammad Zubair Dreshek has warned his subordinates if any person was found in illegal custody of police, strict action would be taken against the police officials responsible for this.

Addressing the officials here on Monday, the DPO said the IGP had taken serious notice of the complaints regarding keeping people in illegal police custody and warned of strict action if such cases were reported.

The RPO also directed them to extend every possible help to the women reporting harassment and violence.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2021

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