Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and Odisha’s Forests & Environment Department started a three-day intensive training workshop from today on rescue and rehabilitation of displaced wildlife at Ramtirtha, Jashipur, near Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR).
The workshop will provide mainly hands-on training for the most part over the coming sessions, with some theoretical sessions on the foundations and protocols of wildlife rescue, rehabilitation, ethics and documentation. Today, Dr Khanin Changmai, Veterinary Surgeon with WTI’s Mobile Veterinary Service (MVS) unit at STR, provided a demonstration and training on using immobilisation equipment, which included shooting practice for the trainees. Other practical sessions will include technical rope rescue training on land and water bodies, mock drills on emergencies involving elephants, leopards, bears and tigers, and human-snake conflict mitigation.
WTI, working through its Rapid Action Projects (RAP) division, also provided a quadcopter drone (a type of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle/UAV) to the forest department on the occasion. “Through this urgent support, we are certain that STR’s surveillance capabilities will improve manifold”, said Debobroto Sircar, Project Lead – Wild Aid, WTI, handing over the device to Mr Bisht. The RCCF-cum-Field Director expressed his excitement and gratitude at receiving the quadcopter, a first for STR, and said that it would definitely be a boon to the conservation work being undertaken at the tiger reserve. Rudra Mahapatra, WTI’s State Facilitator – Odisha, who has experience with quadcopters, will train the participants on its usage during the workshop and continue to assist the Forest Department in future implementations.
This circle-level advanced training is a culmination of a series of workshops conducted since 2015 at various divisions of STR at the behest of the Regional Chief Conservator of Forests (RCCF) cum Field Director of STR, Mr Harish Kumar Bisht, IFS.