ISLAMABAD - The Deer Enclosure at the Faisal Avenue of Islamabad has become a source of attraction for those visiting the Faisal Mosque and the locals, but the negligence shown by the city managers towards preventing the cages from the nearby overflowing ‘nullah’, particularly during rains, can hit-hard the well maintained enclosure.
The enclosure in Sector F/8 is spread on 15-acre of greenbelt and it attracts the people visiting the Faisal Mosque from different cities. But unfortunately, a ‘nullah’ passing through the enclosure has become a threat to the cages and animals while the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has so far not taken any step to prevent the natural beauty.
The deer are enjoying their lives more freely as compared to any zoo because the authorities concerned have provided them a peaceful environment in these cages. Around 40 deer of two different species have been kept in the enclosed space. There are about 29 Black Bucks (Kala Hiran) while 11 of them are the Hog Deer (Para Hiran). The CDA Wildlife Department has converted one part of the enclosure into a jungle to provide friendly atmosphere to the animals. Besides deer, some peacocks are also present in the space.
Most of the visitors praised the CDA on establishing a beautiful enclosure near a residential sector and some of them suggested shifting more animals. “The CDA should keep more animals in the cages to provide a source of entertainment both to the visitors and the locals,” said Huma Naeem, a teenager. She was of the view that the civic body could upgrade the place by taking some additional measures.
The visitors said the city’s prime agency should convert the surrounding into a mini zoo by providing parking place and sitting arrangement, as the visitors currently have to park their vehicles on the main road to see the beautiful deer roaming freely in open sky and they cannot find any place to sit near the cages.
The enclosure was established around 20 years back to provide alternative place for the animals that get ill in the Murghazar Zoo or need separate environment for their sustenance.
Talking to Pakistan Today, CDA Wildlife Department Range Officer Mehmood Chaudhry says they have taken extra measures to protect the deer from the winter-born diseases. “We have covered the cages from the Margalla Hills side as cold winds coming from the mountains can prove dangerous fro the caged deer,” he said.
When asked him about the safety measures taken by the authority to prevent the cages from nearby nullah, he replied that the matter had been taken up with the senior officials concerned and a 100-meter-long wall would soon be constructed along with the banks of ‘nullah’.
He informed that Hog Deer was a special specie find in Sindh along the River Sindh while Black Bucks were mostly found in Cholistan and Thar. “Mostly the people who visit Faisal mosque stopped at the enclosure to get entertain with deer” he said.
He said the enclosure was established to provide a safe environment to the animals, adding that it was also considered as a breeding centre for deer. He said a couple of Black Buck could be available at Rs50,000, adding that they had stopped their sale due to their decreasing number. He said Hog Deer was naturally shy due to which people did not prefer buying it.