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Travel News, August, 2007

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Migratory birds at Nandankanan Zoo
by Sarada Lahangir

          Nandakanan Zoo (Orissa): Local and migratory birds have arrived at Nandankanan Zoo for seasonal nesting. The occasion has drawn a lot of people here. Visitors, especially children and youngsters, at the Nandankanan Zoo in Chandaka Forest, 25 kilometres from Bhubaneswar are delighted to notice a variety of chirps and flapping of wings. Trinath Mohapatra, a visitor, said: "We are so overwhelmed to see so many beautiful birds. These birds have doubled the beauty of this place." Visitors are happy watching storks, herons and grey cranes and many other species that have added to every one's joy. Ajit Kumar Patnaik, Director, Nandankanan zoo, said: "Storks, herons and others birds have migrated to Nandankanan Zoo for nesting. But ninety per cent of them are open billed storks, locally called "Gendallia". He adds: "People kill these birds for food and hence their population is on decline. Earlier, they used to stay near ponds and rivers but now they are generally seen in far less number." Patnaik says: "However, the number of birds is increasing in the Nandankanan and Bhiterkanika Sanctuaries, as they are migrating here in large numbers for nesting." These migratory birds are believed to feel secure at the Nandakanan Zoo and hence their number is increasing every year. Netrananda Raut, a zoo employee, said: "Visitors love to see these birds. They don't believe that they are migratory birds. We take pleasure in looking after these birds." Famed for its white tiger population, Nandankanan, meaning Garden of Gods, has become a favourite venue for families interested to see the migratory birds in their natural glory. The zoo also boasts of a botanical garden, and only a part of it has been declared a sanctuary. Over 67 kinds of mammals, 18 varieties of reptiles and 81 species of birds co-exist in the dense forested boundaries of this zoo. It enjoys an excellent international reputation for successfully breeding black panthers, gharial crocodiles and white tigers in captivity.
- August 24,  2007

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