The Inevitable Flight

Documentary: The Inevitable Flight
Writer/Director: Azfar Rizvi
Producer: Iris Media, Wwf, Azfar Rizvi, Dawn News
Cast: Robert Whale, Ashraf Muhammad
Presenter: Azfar Rizvi
Language: English
Release: 2008
Duration: 46 min

Dhodial Pheasant Center is an aviary (pheasantry) and breeding center for several species of pheasants situated in Mansehra District, Pakistan. It has been set up for the purposes of research, conservation, tourism and education. The pheasantry has around 250 exhibits providing shelter to around 4,000 birds.

Established in 1984 at Dhodial in Mansehra District on the Karakoram Highway adjacent to Hazara University, the pheasantry also provides a breeding ground for species such as tigers, chinkara, oryal and other protected animals for their reintroduction to their habitats. The pheasantry is the largest pheasantry in Asia, housing 32 of the 52 known species of the bird.

The documentary uncovers a maze of mystic birds intertwined with religion and culture. 

What began with an accidental glance over a written piece on the pheasantry’s eventual replacement took shape into a full-length documentary film. Dhodial Pheasantry, beyond everything else that it has done for conservation, and pheasant conservation in particular, put Pakistan on the map. The documentary aims at one thing alone – to leave its viewers with facts that allow them to decide for themselves whether it is Hazara University or Dhodial Pheasantry that is faced with an unjust inevitability.

The threat to the pheasantry began in 2001, when in order to build the new Hazara university over 204 acres, the then NWFP Governor ordered the pheasantry to be removed from Dhodial. He also had the structures on the land re-located, including the Mental Hospital, the Agriculture Research Station and the Veterinary Laboratory.

Wildlife enthusiasts have urged the government to extend Dhodial Pheasantry so that the rising pheasant population in the sanctuary can be kept safe.

“The Inevitable Flight” effectively helped the Pheasantry mobilize enough public and political support that the relocation was brought to a stand still.


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