To swiftly avert incidents of man-animal conflict in the state and to prepare a quick response system in the event of wild animals straying into inhabited areas,the state Forest Department is developing three Rapid Response Teams (RRTs).
The proposal was first discussed by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav,who holds the portfolio of Forests department,after the capture of a tiger which had strayed into Rehmankheda forest near Lucknow from Kheri jungles earlier this year.
Principal Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Rupak De said the department had earmarked an initial budget of Rs 1 crore for providing training to these teams and arming them with the equipment required for conducting tranquilising operations.
The RRTs will decrease the Forests Departments dependence on NGOs for handling and tranquilising stray wild animals. Initially,the department will form three RRTs,which will be deployed in Lucknow,Dudhwa Tiger Reserve and Pilibhit. Pilibhit and Dudhwa witness maximum incidents of animals straying into inhabited areas.
One RRT will consist of at least two veterinarians of the Forest Department and eight forest guards. Each team will be headed by a forest official of the sub-divisional officer rank. The team members will undergo a half-a-month-long training in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in the month of August. The training will be imparted by experts from wildlife NGOs.