Bhubaneswar, Oct 2: The Nandankanan Zoological Park authorities will release two tiger cubs for public viewing and mark October 4 as ''Elephant Day'' to raise awarness about the importance of animals as the wildlife week began on Thursday, Oct 2.
Zoological Park Director Ajit Patnaik said the elephant day will be observed with a view to educating the people about the rising incidents of man-elephant conflict, the status of pachyderm in the state, their conservation and their role in the ecosystem.
He said a campaign was being organised to educate the people about the importance for protection the jumbo population.
A special kit, developed by the ZOO, Coimbatore on the human-elephant conflict, elephant etiquette, elephant manner would be used to propagate their need in the society, he said.
On October 4, the elephants would be adorned with special customized apparel of Pipili and special dishes like plenty of banana and coconut, the Director said.
''Ananta'' the orphaned elephant-calf, which was rescued from Keonjhar when it was only 3 months and rehabilitate at Nandankanan will be the star attraction of the celebration.
Mr Patnaik said the Mahout who successfully hand reared ''Ananta'' would also be felicitated on the day.
The Director said the two tiger cubs born to ''Sailaja'' seven months back would be launched for public viewing at a special enclosure during the week. The naming ceremony of the two tiger cubs would also be done by the school children during the period.
Mr Patnaik said more than 5,000 visitors and school children are expected to participate in the event.
The school children are targeted for this special awareness campaign and their entry to the Park is free, he said.
Several other organisations like Chandaka Wildlife Division, Nature and Wildlife Conservation Society Orissa, Orissa Environment Society, WWF Orissa and CEE, Eastern Regional Cell, Orissa, Zoo Outreach Organisation, Coimbatore have given their consent to join with Nandan Kanan Zoo to celebrate the function in a grand manner.
A special brochure developed by the DFO wildlife Chandaka Division would be distributed to the visitors.
A cycle rally to Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary starting from Nandankanan Zoological Park is also planned to be flagged off to sensitise the people about the need for conservation. The cycle rally will touch the peripheral villages of Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary and would culminate at Godibari, Mr Patnaik said.