Understanding the “necessity” of a transit centre for confiscated or injured animals in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, the forest department has begun work on a new facility in Shilphata. According to senior forest officials, the state-owned facility is likely to be maintained by a private firm. At present, only its boundary wall has come up on the proposed site. Officials said that the centre would have a rescue van, an operation theatre, X-ray facilities and a government veterinarian to assess the health of the wild or exotic animals brought here. The forest department said they would approach several architects for designs for the new centre.
“The objective is to provide the wildlife with first aid and send them to the transit treatment centre for further care. At present, there is a lack of space to rehabilitate exotic animals, which leads to their death,” said a senior state official.
Officials pointed out that over 500 tortoises were repatriated across the state in the past months, but a large number died mainly due to “improper husbandry and lack of facilities”.
“NGOs have become the custodians of these injured or rescued animals. It’s the responsibility of the forest department to have a dedicated rescue centre,” said Shakuntala Majumdar, President of Thane Society for Protection of Cruelty to Animals (TSPCA).
“There is hardly any room left with us to accommodate more animals. Sometimes, we are forced to refuse admission to an animal brought for rehabilitation,” Majumdar added.