BARIPADA: Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) in collaboration with Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) on Thursday launched a Mobile Veterinary Service (MVS) unit to facilitate rescue of wild animals.
Field Director of STR and Regional CCF Anup Kumar Nayak said this was a new intervention in Odisha. “The MVS unit will handle the rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals in Similipal landscape including adjoining Kuldiha sanctuary area in Balasore district,” he added. An MoU for the purpose had been signed between Similipal Tiger Conservation Foundation and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) in March 2013. The MVS unit will operate from Pithabata wildlife range office campus on the fringe of STR to immediately respond to any wildlife emergency.
Chief of Wild Rescue and Conflict Mitigation of WTI NVK Ashraf said for the first time, the State will have a dedicated mobile unit manned by trained veterinarian and caretaker to attend to wildlife emergencies reported from the region.
“The objective will be to return every displaced animal to the wild. All releases would follow the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines on translocation and placement of confiscated animals,” he said adding that the unit will be served by a small field station that will have basic facilities to accommodate temporarily displaced animals till their release.
There is also a plan to launch awareness drive among the local villagers on how to deal with and respond to different conflict scenarios. The Forest department staff will also be trained in handling rescue operations and man-animal conflict.