Mumbai: New animal rescue centre at Shilphata to ease SGNP's load
The facility, buillt at a cost of Rs 90 lakh, will not just have treatment and post-care facilities for injured animals, but also arrangements for conducting funerals
In order to ease the load on the only wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre at Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), the forest department is coming up with a dedicated wildlife transit rescue centre at Shilphata near Kalyan. The facility, which is worth Rs 90 lakh, will not just have treatment and post-care facilities for injured animals, but also arrangements for conducting funerals.
According to the forest department's plans, the centre will be ready by the first or the second week of June following which it would be made operational in the next couple of days. Confirming the development, deputy conservator of forest, Dr Jitendra Ramgaonkar from Thane, said, "Construction of the transit wildlife rescue centre on a 1-acre plot in Shilphata is in progress. More than 80 per cent work has been completed. The centre will be opened by the first or second week of June. Once operational, the facility will cater to injured wild animals that are rescued by forest department officials and volunteers of various NGOs from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region."
When asked about what facilities that would be available at the centre, and whether the forest department would operate it, the official said, "The transit centre will have all the basic facilities including x-ray machine, operation theatre and enclosures to keep the injured animals till they recover and are fit to be released in the wild. Initially, the forest department will not take any help in opening the centre, but later veterinarians from NGOs will pitch in and treat the rescued animals, as we don't have veterinarians working full time."
Speaking to mid-day, honorary wildlife warden of Thane and founder of NGO RAWW Pawan Sharma said, "The SGNP team already has a lot of workload and wild animals to look after. This is why a dedicated facility for treating injured animals was needed, and we are happy that the territorial wing of Thane forest department is coming up with a rescue and rehabilitation centre at Shilphata."
Daily forest department officials and members of various NGOs working in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai rescue a number of wild animals. In many cases they have to depend on private veterinary doctors and centres like Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Thane to keep the injured animals till they completely recover. The facility in Shilpahata is expected to solve this problem.
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