The Forest Department plans to set up an animal treatment and rescue centre near Pune. The Pune Municipal Corporation has two other centres — the Rajiv Gandhi zoological park has a rescue centre that treats approximately 1,000-1,200 injured birds and animals every year and in Junnar tehsil, the Manikdoh Rescue Centre caters to leopards. The PMC believes the third centre will reduce load on the first two centres.
Vivek Khandekar, Chief Conservator of Forests (Territorial), Pune told Pune Newsline, “The site will be near Bavdhan and now we have sought administrative approval.”
The feasibility report for the construction of a treatment, transit, rescue centre and infirmary for wild animals in Pune district has been prepared by the Pune forest division as per the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) norms.
According to the report, an estimated 28.31 acres would be required to house the buildings, including veterinary hospital and enclosures for animals like leopards, deer, antelopes, elephants, monkeys, jackals, hyenas, pheasants, water birds and reptiles. While three sites were shortlisted at Taljai Hills, Kushgaon and Bhugaon Road, forest department officials said that Bavdhan on Bhugaon Road was a better option. “We have sent the report for administrative clearance,” said Khandekar.
The move is being welcomed as there has been a rise in the number of animals and birds being injured. According to Rajkumar Jadhav, Director, Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, the rescue centre get several calls daily. “From people finding snakes in nearby localities to birds getting hurt, the number of calls to the rescue centres is quite high and according to our records, at least a minimum of 1,000-1,200 birds and animals are rescued and treated here,” added Jadhav.
Dr Ajay Deshmukh, senior veterinary doctor at the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre, which is jointly run by the Wildlife SOS in collaboration with the state forest department, feels that it was essential to set up another centre as there has been an increase in the number of wild animals. “At our centre, which also works as a transit home, we find that leopards have been injured by villagers or trapped in conflict situations. In fact since 2009, our teams have helped reunite at least 44 cubs with their mothers,” Deshmukh added.