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Hi-tech heal hub debuts at Tata zoo

Animal care reached a new milestone at Tata Steel Zoological Park in Jamshedpur with the formal inauguration of a spacious, air-conditioned health centre for wild denizens on Friday.

Chief general manager of SBI, Patna circle, Rakesh Sharma threw open the 450sqft hi-tech facility equipped with an OT and a host of medical gear such as shadow-less lamps, tranquillisers, oxygen cylinders, auto-clay machine and anaesthetic units.

The Rs 7.55-lakh Wildlife Healthcare Centre — the first of its kind in eastern India — is being sponsored by SBI.

Speaking on the occasion, Sharma appreciated efforts of the zoo to save two male langurs who were grievously injured in a territorial battle with an outsider of their ilk on November 25. The two were operated on at the facility. He also lauded vet Manik Palit’s endeavour to save purebred African lioness Zoya who was attacked by a white cobra on December 2 last year. Pictures of the treatment on display at Friday’s ceremony.

“Tata zoo is doing a wonderful job and the new centre will ensure quick treatment,” Sharma said, adding that the SBI would continue to extend its support. The bank has been fostering the black deer enclosure for some years now.

Zoo director Bipul Chakravarty, Tata Steel Zoological Society (TSZS) managing committee member Rituraj Sinha, vet Palit and his deputy Susen Mahto were present at the inauguration.

Apart from its array of medical equipment, the healthcare centre will also have a USG machine shortly. The machine, which was at the zoo’s disposal, has developed glitches and has been sent to Tata Main Hospital for repairs.

“We experienced a lot of difficulties while treating animals, especially larger ones, at the ill-equipped clinic. But now, things will change for the better. The success rate of surgeries will go up as will post-operative care, which is vital when it comes to the health of our wild inmates,” said Palit.

Vet interns can also train at the centre, he added.

Palit pointed out that the zoo langurs were recovering. “Surgical skills and the hi-tech facility saved these animals. We have inserted microchips for their identification and further treatment. Both are doing well under post-operative care.”

Another TSZS managing committee member Rajnish Kumar said: “We have a mission to safeguard wildlife and the ecosystem through use of exceptional science. The facility will be of immense help in this direction.”

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