by Dalip Kumar Baitha
As I start my blog, I would like to inform you that today is April fool’s day, I assure you that I would write true and what happened. 😅😅 Secondly, the day is special as the Reserve Bank of India is established on 1st April 1935.
The morning started with sumptuous breakfast and we proceeded for Day two- live animals capture. The beautiful morning and cool breeze were freshening with extra energy to perform our task. The plan of the capture was set in advance with defined tasks for each team.
With all the essential equipment in hand, we proceeded towards the forest. Even after travelling 8 to 10 km into the park, we could only see few animals at a far distance and at times moving alone or in a small herd. We wondered why it is happening so??? We were explained about animal’s activity budget, temporal and spatial patterns of habitat use and seasonal effect. Actually, we were too early as compared to yesterday and that was the reason for not being able to observe enough numbers of animals. The drive was however amazing and we saw different areas of the park.
After a long search, we finally saw a herd of sambar deer feeding in Caparis patch. A healthy sambar female was seen at a distance of 16 meters. After estimating the weight, the dose was calculated and dart prepared. It took time to dart as the animal kept moving. Patience paid and the animal could be finally darted. We learned lessons of proper darting. Signs of drug induction manifested by incoordination were recorded by 3 minutes post darted followed by and the animal coming onto sternal recumbency by 7 minutes. The animal was approached carefully for 15 minutes. The animal was blindfolded, monitored, weighed and bodily measurements were taken. The monitoring team collected the blood sample and took all vital parameters and recorded it in the datasheet. After recording all the vital parameters the reversal drug was given. During the recovery period, we observed the animal till it joined the herd.
After this successful operation, Dr Parag Nigam explained how to handle the emergency situation during the chemical immobilization of wild animals.
We left for Kankiwara fort to study the people park interface as well as study relocation efforts. The historical background of this fort was explained by Dr Parag Nigam. We captured this elegant and beautiful forest surrounded by Arawali hills into our hearts through eyes from the top of the fort. After having a light breakfast and soft drinks we returned back for our 2nd operation. While returning we were blessed with immense knowledge about the mysterious trees and plants of this dry and deciduous forest by Dr Nigam sir. Once again each and every team was ready for the next operation. After searching for a healthy male cheetal deer Dr Manoj Kumar Toni of the Darting team darted the animal successfully. The induction started within less than 3 minutes and the animal came on sternal recumbency within 6 minutes. In this operation, the induction time was very short. We did all the formalities related to measurements and sample collections as done previously. After recording all the data the reversal was given. The animal revived and joined the herd. After this hectic, interesting and successful operations we returned back to Sariska Palace.
The evening session was delivered by Dr A B Shrivastava sir who discussed the objectives of the wildlife health and disease surveillance program. The last lecture was delivered by Dr Nigam sir who discussed physical capture and chemical immobilization of wild felines. Dr Abhijit Das from WII, Sh Satyajit Kumar Director Patna Zoo joined the session. It was a delight to meet Dr B P Mishra, Director of Indian Veterinary Research Institute.
My sincere regards and thanks to Dr A B Shrivastava and Dr Parag Nigam who showered the rain of knowledge on us.
Really it was an unforgettable day of great learning.