Jharkhand’s maiden wildlife rescue centre, which is under construction at Barwe village near here, is ready to house rescued bears, deer, monkeys, and leopards, officials said on Monday.
Some of the facilities are ready which have been made operational for a few animals, principal chief conservator of forest (Wildlife), Ashish Rawat, told PTI.
The proposed arrangements for rescued elephants and hyenas are due for completion in 2022-23 fiscal, the officials said.
The rescue centre is being built on a sprawling area of 100 acres on Ormanjhi-Boriyo road, 22 km from here, and it is expected to be completed by 2024.
It has already been approved by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), the officials said.
“The centre is under construction, and the infrastructure required for rescued animals is being developed,” Rawat said.
On Sunday, two sloth bears were taken to the centre after the animals were rescued from the state’s Bokaro district. Six months ago, a rescued langur was brought to the centre.
Ranchi’s divisional forest officer (DFO) for Wildlife, Umesh Sahani, who is looking after the rescue centre, told PTI, “The moat for bears on 40 decimal area is ready. A few more improvements will be carried out this year.”
The sloth bears, which were rescued from Bokaro, have been kept in the moat, and they are being given healthy and nutritious food under the observation of Ranchi Zoo’s veterinary doctor Om Prakash Sahu, the DFO said.
The enclosures for monkeys and deer are also ready, he said.
Construction of the rescue centre began in 2018-19 fiscal and around Rs 8 crore has been spent on the project, he said.
A hospital for animals, a godown, and facilities like water and electricity supply have already been completed.
However, the centre lacks dedicated veterinarians and a rescue team, a trained workforce, and vehicles with cage facilities.
Besides, Jharkhand does not have any dedicated team for rescuing animals, experts said.
“The Forest department has to struggle a lot during a rescue operation. It neither has any dedicated rescue team nor cages in the districts. Two sloth bears were rescued on Saturday evening in Bokaro, but they could be transported to Ranchi only by Sunday afternoon,” former State Wildlife Board member, D S Srivastava, told PTI.
The process got delayed because the department did not have any cage in Bokaro district. The situation is the same across the state, Srivastava said.
He said that the man-elephant conflict has been a major cause for concern for the forest department in Jharkhand. On an average, 65 human casualties are reported from elephant attacks every year, he said.
“More than 80 elephants have also been killed in the past decade in Jharkhand. But the state is yet to have any rescue centre or tranquilization experts for rogue or injured elephants,” Srivastava said.
On the need for having a dedicated rescue team for animals, the DFO said, “I talked to PCCF (wildlife) regarding a dedicated rescue team, including veterinary doctors for the centre. He said that a discussion in this regard has already taken place with the secretary. We hope to get it very soon.”