Rajkot: In the next six months, the endangered Asiatic lions will get medical facilities in a posh and well-equipped hospital just like humans.
The Gujarat Lion Conservation Society (GLCS) is set to build a sophisticated wild animal rescue and rehabilitation centre close to Vadal village near temple town Palitana in Bhavnagar district.
To be constructed at a cost of Rs two crore, this facility will not only have a modern hospital for wild animals but it would use scientific methods to reduce the man-animal conflict. Attacks on people, mostly by leopards and lions, is bound to rise with large number of felines moving out of the protected areas and coming close to human habitations.
Dr Sandeep Kumar, deputy conservator of forest (DCF), Bhavnagar division told TOI: “This will be the most modern and biggest rescue and rehabilitation centre of Gujarat. It will have all the modern equipments like intensive care units (ICU) X-ray machines, blood analyser, operation theatre, diagnostic centre and facility to analyse animal’s health with total veterinary protocol. This hospital will be like any other private hospital with modern facilities.”
In the beginning, the hospital will the capacity to treat 10 lions at a time. “The cages will have all facilities including an ICU inside,” said Kumar, adding that two separate chambers for quarantine and isolation will also be created. Within 2-3 months of operationalizing the facility, 10-15 leopards can also be accommodated along with the lions.
This centre is being built on 1.2 hectare land and will be completed in next six months.
At present, there are four animal rescue centres at Sasan, Jasadhar, Jamwala and Saskkarbaug Zoo of Junagadh. But the scope of work is limited to rescuing the animals and releasing them in the forest after treatment. Lions that have killed human are imprisoned for life.
The location was chosen in Bhavnagar district as there are nearly 50 lions which have made villages along the banks of Shetrunji River their permanent homes after moving out of Gir.
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