Pune : Forest Dept Raises Concerns Over Mismanagement at Katraj Animal Rescue Centre

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By: Pune Pulse

June 12, 2023

Pune: After three decades of dedicated service in Pune, the Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre at Katraj is facing an uncertain future. The center, which has been providing crucial medical assistance to injured wildlife, is struggling to cope with the increasing number of animals in its care. Furthermore, a shortage of experts has made it impractical to continue operations at the facility.

Ashok Ghorpade, Chief Garden Officer of the PMC, revealed, “Initially, the rescue center was under the supervision of wildlife researcher Anilkumar Khaire. Unfortunately, his passing away in November 2022 led Nilimkumar Kaire, the former chief of the Indian Herpetology Society (IHS), to take charge. However, due to health issues, he had to discontinue his work. We have received a letter from the IHS regarding this matter, and we will be conducting a meeting next week with the Forest Department officials to determine the next steps. Once the meeting concludes, we will initiate correspondence with the forest office to facilitate the handover of wildlife at the center to the Pune Forest Department.”

Efforts to reach out to the Pune Forest Department officials for comment have been unsuccessful so far.

Pending approval from the PMC, over 600 wild animals currently housed at the center will be transferred to the Forest Department.

The Rajiv Gandhi Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre was established at Katraj in 1990 through the collaborative efforts of passionate wildlife researchers. Prior to its establishment, the Pune Forest Department lacked an integrated rescue rehabilitation center, resulting in various rescue operators bringing in stray animals such as wolves, monkeys, deer, snakes, and more to the Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre. Since its inception, the center has diligently served the community for 33 years.

Shreyas Vange