MYSURU: To help speed up the process of rescuing and treating injured wild animals especially those in the Bandipur and Nagarahole Tiger Reserves, experts and wildlife activists are demanding setting up of a transit treatment centre.
This comes at a time when incidents of injured wild animals dying on their way for treatment to the rehabilitation centre are being reported.
On July 9, a five-year-old male tiger which had sustained injuries in a territorial fight was captured but died on its way to Bannerghatta Biological Park for treatment which is over 200 km away from the forest. This is not the only incident. Over the years, there have been similar incidents where tigers, leopards and even elephants have died on their way to rehab centre.
A five-year-old leopard which was injured in an accident in Mysuru died at Bannerghatta animals rehab centre in December 2020, while a nine-year-old male tiger which was rescued from Hediyala range died at Koorgalli rehabilitation centre in June, 2018. Another tiger cub which was injured in Kodagu died in a similar way in Koorgalli.
In the backdrop of all these incidents, experts and wildlife activists are demanding setting up of a Transit Treatment Centre at the Bandipur Tiger reserve which can save their lives.
"If a transit centre is made available at the tiger reserve itself, it will be a permanent solution. This would help animals get first aid and other emergency treatments at the earliest and even cut down the cost of transporting them to other places far from the tiger reserves," said veterinarian and forensic expert Dr Prayag, who is also serving as assistant professor-cum-chief veterinary officer at Veterinary College, Hebbal, Bengaluru.
Further, Dr Prayag H S pointed out that if such a centre is established, it will enable veterinarians treat wild animals. "Doctors can be made available 24/7 at the facility. This will also help in releasing the wild back to their natural habitat soon after its recovery after following due protocols," he said.
Meanwhile, wildlife activists have alleged that the National Tiger Conservation Authority's (NTCA) Standard Operation procedure (SOP) was not followed in the recent capturing of an injured tiger in Bandipur tiger reserve. Activist Joseph Hoover of United Conservation Movement has questioned why was the tiger transported to Bannerghatta when Koorgalli rehabilitation centre was nearby why two darts were fired at the injured animal.