Dr. Ansar Ahmad and Dr. Vijay Shankar Dubey
First day of our training started with a very beautiful morning and healthy breakfast. We headed towards Bear Conservation Care Centre at Wildlife SOS near Agra. Mr. Baiju Raj. M. V, Director, Conservation Projects, Wildlife SOS and Dr. Ilayaraj Raja Selvaraj Dy Director, Veterinary Services and the Wildlife SOS team welcomed us. An overview of the Centre was provided and was followed by demonstration of health monitoring procedures in Sloth bear. Discussions were held on procedures for animal approach, darting, induction phase, post immobilization monitoring. Inputs were provided on diagnostic aids namely radiography, ultrasonography , ECG, general bodily examina tion recording of physiological parameters etc. Presentation on various aspects of ex situ and in situ management, were given by experts. A session on integrating local communities into wildlife conservation citing example of rehabilitation of kalandar community who gave up the profession of dancing bears was quite informative. After a sumptuous lunch, we headed to India’s largest Elephant Hospital managed by Uttar Pradesh Forest Dept. and Wildlife SOS. A visit to Elephant Conservation and care Centre, Churmura was also undertaken. In the Elephant Hospital Dr. Ilayarajai Raja Selvaraja demonstrated health monitoring procedures on elephant using advanced diagnostic tools like potable x-ray machine, ultrasonography, thermography, foot grooming kits etc. Animal weighing on platform and estimation using simple formulas based on body measurements were carried out. We visited pharmacy, hematology and biochemistry laboratory and the visit finally ended with short visit to Elephant Conservation and care Centre where enrichment devices for elephants and foot care was demonstrated. We were overwhelmed with such an amazing experience and thank WHB Team for including this visit in the program.