Pune: With an aim to reduce man-leopard conflict and improve leopard rescue operations, Wildlife SOS conducted a training workshop for forest department officials and forest guards of the Maharashtra Forest Department at Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre in Junnar.
The workshop focused on carrying out leopard rescue operations. The workshop was attended by over 60 officers from Junnar, Ottur, Ghodegaon, Shirur and Manchar ranges.
The workshop commenced with an introduction to the basic management techniques used by keepers and veterinarians at the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre. The officers were also given a tour of the facility which currently houses over 30 rescued leopards that cannot be released back into the wild.
The team shared various factors that come into play while carrying out a rescue operation. Crowd management, rescuing the leopard safely, post-rescue treatment procedures for animals injured by panic-stricken villagers and several other techniques were discussed in the workshop.
Techniques of trapping and releasing leopards in distress were also demonstrated. Officers from each range were asked to complete situational tasks following which the teams shared their methods of tackling the tasks at hand.
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder, Wildlife SOS said, “In order to tackle the issues of human-leopard conflict it is crucial to first understand this majestic feline and its behaviour patterns.
Wildlife SOS works closely with the forest department in carrying out rescue operations throughout Maharashtra and we are dedicated to mitigating such incidents in leopard prone areas.”
Assistant Conservator of Forests (Junnar), Yuvraj Mohite said, “This workshop was a good opportunity for each division to discuss their experiences and issues they commonly face while conducting such rescue operations.”
Dr Ajay Deshmukh, Senior Veterinarian at the Wildlife SOS Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre said, “Rescue operations involving leopards can be dangerous and need careful planning in order to ensure the safety of the animal as well as the people. Therefore it is imperative that all necessary protocols are followed by rescue teams to minimise the chances of any untoward incident.” The NGO has helped in reuniting over 40 leopard cubs with their mothers.