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RRTs To Rescue Animals

With an aim to equip Forest officials to manage man-animal conflict in a quick timeframe, the Forest Department has constituted 18 Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) to rescue animals in distress in 18 forest divisions.

Training of the RRTs has begun and the first mock drill was conducted here at Nandankanan Zoological Park today.

All the personnel were imparted training on using various equipment and handling various types of animals and other related aspects.

The first phase of training of the rapid response team was completed yesterday. One team will be solely deployed at Nandankanan Zoo.

As per forest officials, the RRTs are being trained on the use of tranquilizers and more than 100 equipment including protective gear, and tracking, monitoring and veterinary equipment.

The aim is to rescue animals in distress including leopards, sloth bears, tigers, and other small and big herbivorous animals without causing them much harm.

“In view of rising man-animal conflict and death of two of our officials in elephant attacks, we have formed the RRTs. Now, the response time of Forest officials will also be reduced,” said Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Debidutta Biswal.

PCCF Wild Life Susanta Nanda said the RRTs will be deployed in 18 forest divisions. The teams are being instructed to reach the spot within 60-90 minutes of receiving a phone call.  

Each RRT team would comprise 6 to 7 young forest personnel and a team leader of the rank of Ranger. Of the six teams constituted, one team is exclusively for Nandankanan Zoo, he said.

The RRTs are undergoing theory classes at Godibari in Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary and practical classes at Nandankanan Zoological Park. “Their training will be over by March and they will be deployed at their respective divisions from April 1,” Shri Nanda informed.