If you share an unconditional love for winged animals and that too for our national feathered creature, then you need to see Pana Behera’s Peacock forest at least once in your life. A retired home guard of Odisha Police who can be referred as an perfect nature lover who restored this dead firing range into a spectacular peacock sanctuary.
Down the path, 17 years back when a super-cyclone hit Odisha with its imposing appearance, 3 peacocks from Chandaka Reserve Forest appeared in this range. Around then Mr. Behera was filling in as a Forest Range Caretaker for the cashew nut forest. He took these 3 destitute peacocks into shelter and after more than one and a half decade now the flock has grown to 48.
In the event when you ever be there at Cuttack then it won’t be of any bother to visit this firing range. Naraj sidheswar Firing Range is at Talapada village, a few minutes drive from Naraj bridge and barely 15km far from Cuttack.
With no sort of Govt. support this 77 year old man has been taking care of these eminent birds, nourishing them, raising them like his own family. His job was to keep people away from the 50-acre firing range, but he found another responsibility: to safeguard the muster of peacocks who had made the place their home.
Talking about Mr. Behera, such a modest and sedate person he is and submissive is the thing that his character bears!!! His love for these birds gives him his title, “The Peacock Man Of Odisha”. Pana Behera was awarded the President’s Medal for meritorious service in 2007. Two of his children are constables. “The police department has supported me for so long. Now there are three Home Guards at the firing range but I am allowed to be here and keep a watch on the peacocks. I hope they will continue to permit me till I drop dead,” he says.
Once again he proved that “Loving animals means loving all animals, not just the ones we share our homes with.”
Behera Babu You’re Amazing! 😉