The process of sterilisation of male Spotted Deers in the Mysore City Zoo commenced this morning with vasectomy surgery conducted on a male deer. "Nine more deer will be sterilised during the next week," Dr. Suresh Kumar, Assistant Director of the Zoo, told Star of Mysore.

"The main reason behind sterilising the spotted deer is to control their population in the Zoo enclosure, since they are fast breeders," said Dr. Suresh.

"The other reason is to prevent in-breeding among the same bloodline," he said and hoped that a new bloodline of spotted deer could be included in the Zoo to produce a healthy generation.

"The city Zoo's capacity, according to norms stipulated by the Zoo Authority of India, is at a maximum of 50 heads of deer. However, the present population is 168 (82 male and 86 female) deer," Dr. Suresh said and added that it was not only expensive to rear such a huge number within the limited area but also adversely affected the existing deer populace in the Zoo.

"Vasectomy surgery involves sedating the animal with anaesthesia and cutting and removing a portion of spermatic cord that connects the testes to the penis," explained Dr. Suresh Kumar and added that this process is quicker, simpler and less painful than the conventional method of removing the testes (castration).

"Similar sterilisation surgeries were conducted on 64 spotted deer last year," he said.

Recalling the five-year-old incident of about 300 deer from the Zoo that were released into Nagarahole forests, Dr. Suresh said that a lot of hue and cry was raised over the issue then, since very few of the deer — accustomed to the Zoo environment where they are usually hand-fed — had survived in the wild.

The other species of deer in Zoo namely Swamp Deer (Barasinga), Sambhar, Chinkara, Black Buck, Fallow Deer, Mouse Deer, Barking Deer, etc., are presently not facing the population problem. During the surgery, Dr. Suresh Kumar was assisted by Dr. Dharamvir, Dr. Prayag, Dr. Vinod and other staff.

To a query about the possibility of feeding the surplus deer, particularly the aged ones to the beasts of prey in the Zoo (similar to feeding rat snakes to King Cobra), Dr. Suresh said that it was against the rules of the Zoo.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore