From Surgery To Sanctuary: Kashmir's Lone Wildlife Hospital Emerges As Lifeline For Wildlife


(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer) Srinagar- Amidst the heavy downpour on Saturday, a group of men in Nehru Park Srinagar, armed not with umbrellas but with tranquilizers and expertise, embarked on a mission. A team from the Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary veterinary hospital, led by Dr. Mohsin Ali Gazi, waded through the weather, to rescue a distressed monkey.

“Precision is the key,” Gazi, Veterinary Officer and Head of Rescue Operations, explained.“We work closely with the team to ensure smooth and efficient rescues, from administering tranquilizers safely to navigating the technical aspects of the situation,” he said. This is just another day at the office for the dedicated team, racing through congested localities of Kashmir to save wild animals in need. Highlighting the constant influx of cases they manage, Gazi said,“We receive many calls for rescues. A couple of days ago we received a barn owl from the city's Bemina locality.”
“If the rescued animal has slight wounds, it is treated on the way or else it has to be admitted to the recently established healthcare facility for the wild animals.”

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Pertinently, established less than a year ago, the Wildlife Healthcare Hospital at Dachigam is emerging as a beacon of hope for Kashmir's wildlife.

“Our center has become a lifeline for countless wild animals, offering vital medical care and treatment. From surgical emergencies to medical crises, we leave no stone unturned in restoring these creatures to health,” Gazi said.

While the center didn't disclose the actual numbers, the
veterinary officer said that they treated a significant number of animals, rehabilitating them back into their natural habitats.

Read Also First Research, Healthcare Facility For Wild Animals Set Up At Dachigam

“In the few months since its inception, we have treated animals including bears, leopards, civets, leopard cats, porcupines, wild herbivores like gorals and musk deer, and various wild birds,”
he said.

The healthcare facility boasts impressive capabilities, including ultrasound diagnostics crucial for identifying illnesses in wild animals.
In addition, the
facility
conducts post-mortem examinations of dead and deceased animals to ascertain their actual cause of death.

“We treat animals with traumas and injuries, some from impacts and others in shock, stabilizing them promptly. We also oversee several zoos, including Pahalgam Mini Zoo, Dachigam Rescue Center, and Shikargah. Regular healthcare interventions for wild animals are part of our responsibilities, ensuring their well-being.”

Just like a regular hospital OPD, the center meticulously documents every wild animal's case.
Beyond immediate medical needs, the center also addresses long-term conservation efforts, overseeing zoos, rescue and rehabilitation, and captive breeding centres across Kashmir.

Gazi, however, highlights that
insufficient manpower hampers timely intervention in rescue operations.

“We are
not just treating animals, we are
fostering a deeper understanding of their needs and behaviors and this office also conducts regular training of the frontline workers engaged in man animal conflicts operations across Kashmir valley.”

In
addition to treating and curing animals, the department has control rooms strategically positioned across the Kashmir valley to ensure swift coordination, with rescue teams operating in tandem to address urgent calls for assistance.

“However, some rescues are incredibly demanding and require sustained effort. For instance, we recently faced a challenging situation at Rawalpora, where an operation lasted for 21 days,” Gazi said.

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