by Dr Karan Sehgal
I started my journey from the youngest mountain ranges of Shivalik in Himachal Pradesh ( house of all the deities- Devbhoomi) to the oldest one that is Aravali ‘s in Sariska Tiger reserve (27.3718° N, 76.3464° E) for undergoing Wildlife Health Bridge Field course, stay arrangements have been made in Sariska Palace definitely a royal experience for me and the impressive architecture of the palace is worth praising.
Today is Day 7 of the field course and being Sunday makes no less of dedication and interest among the participants as all gathered near the pool at 6: 00 AM sharp to start another day to learn wild animal health. The chirping sounds of the birds in the morning was pleasant to the ears and made me realise the beauty of the forest. The day started with an introduction on Disease Outbreak investigation by our lead tutor Dr Parag Nigam who briefed about the mock exercise scenario developed to simulate the Saiga mortality that happened in 2015-16 leading to major die-off in population after brief exposure on use og GPS ( gramin) The participants were divided into three groups and T-shirts were mocked as animals giving their description including age, sex, clinical symptoms and number which was very innovative and interactive. The exercise was completed in about two hours and the data so obtained was plotted in Q-GIS software in morning session taken by Dr Randeep. It was a learning experience for all the veterinarians and forest officers. The spatial distribution on google earth made the same very realistic and gave us a new approach to deal with such outbreaks in an innovative manner. Dr Naresh Jindal , had a discussion on Planning a disease outbreak investigations in free-living wildlife, which was informative w.r.t to collection of data, clinical findings, sample collection , dispatch and possible hypothesis about the possible disease. He shared his experience’s which were really eye-opener for the participants.
The evening session started after a nap break as noon was very hot, and participants were fresh and ready with zeal to LEARN more. Dr Jindal had a discussion how to develop wildlife Surveillance Plan for National Park and Training on sample take which was practical and much needed by all. The last session of the day was group discussion on morning exercise which gave us complete practical knowledge about the GIS software and applications. The day was full of learning and ended with hunger to learn more interventions in wildlife to help the speechless. The last words of the day were from Dr Nigam who in his style made us revise all the activities and made all of us look forward for more practical things during the next week.