Pune’s Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre to get revamped hospital
The centre will soon be getting a well-equipped veterinary hospital with a full fledged operation theatrepune Updated: Jul 07, 2017 17:07 IST
The Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre (MLRC) in Junnar, is one of India’s largest nursing and care taking centre for leopard and is handled by an NGO called the Wildlife SOS, in collaboration with the Government of Maharashtra. Founded in 2007, it has expanded over the years and will soon be getting a well-equipped veterinary hospital with a full fledged operation theatre.
According to wildlife veterinary officer Dr Ajay Deshmukh, the staff was in dire need of such a hospital as they were facing difficulties when they were required to check blood samples or conduct a surgery on a wild animal. Dr Deshmukh feels that the new facilities will reduce the hassle.
“So far, we were managing with whatever facilities we had. For pathology reports, we used to send blood samples to Shirwal’s veterinary hospital, which is 150-km away from here. For X-rays, we used to take the animal to Pune. This new multi-speciality hospital will now include lab facilities, an X-ray machine and squeeze cages and is expected to ease our work load. We will be now able to treat the animal more efficiently,” said Dr Deshmukh.
The centre works mainly on treatment, caretaking and the rehabilitation of leopards. Currently, 34 leopards are housed at the centre.
“We had proposed a plan for such a hospital to the Government of Maharashtra last year. Thankfully, they understood our need and have given the green signal to this project. We are expecting the e-tender to be out within a few months and the work will mostly begin this year,” added Deshmukh.
The work for the post-mortem room has already began, while five more cages are being built to accommodate the leopards. The approximate cost for the project will be around ₹50 lakh.
Dr Deshmukh claims that their attempts to create awareness among the nearby citizens have worked well in reducing the man-animal conflict.
“The forest department is also playing their role well. They have increased the pace of the compensation process and has also increased the amount. Now, if a leopard kills small animals like a sheep or a goat, the owner will get ₹6000, while for larger animals like a cow or a buffalo, it is ₹25,000. In the case of a human death, the compensation has been raised to ₹10 lakhs, which was ₹8 lakhs earlier,” said Deshmukh.