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Revamp health pill for Birsa zoo hospital

- If animals knew, they’d put up their paws & clap for upcoming new wards, facilities

Healthy news is in store for the furry, scaly, winged and creepy-crawly inmates of Birsa zoo, Ormanjhi, in Ranchi.

Jharkhand Zoo Authority has given a go-ahead to the revamp plans of the in-house veterinary hospital. The nod came about a week ago.

As part of the proposed plans, new quarantine and isolation wards will be constructed, a full-fledged pathology lab will be set up and the lone operating theatre will be upgraded with hydraulic and automated systems.

Birsa zoo director A.K. Patra, who also happens to be the member secretary of Jharkhand Zoo Authority, told The Telegraph on Monday that the renovation would be carried out in two phases.

“Initially, we will focus on civil works such as renovation of air and light passage vents at the clinic, making it seepage proof, lay a granite slab on operating table, among others,” he said, adding the target was to finish all these by March 31, the 2013-14 fiscal.

After these, the pathology lab will be set up and the operating theatre technically upgraded during the second phase, which will commence in the next fiscal.

At present, the zoo hospital has four rooms, including one for post-mortem.

A pathological laboratory also exists without equipment. As a result, the zoo authorities have to rely on outside agencies such as Ranchi Veterinary College to get medical tests done.

Vet Ajay Kumar said the hospital renovation would be a boon for the park.

“With time, everything needs to be upgraded, so definitely the zoo hospital. It’s good news for the 1,100 inmates of the zoo. Since Birsa zoo gets many rescued animals, there is obviously a need for more quarantine, isolation and treatment wards,” he added.

However, director Patra could not furnish the exact amount of funds sanctioned for repair works.

“It will be known by the end of the month when the detailed estimates are in place. But, funds would not be a problem,” he said.

For, spread over 104 hectares, the park is doing brisk business, thanks to the swelling crowd count.

On January 1, 2014, the picturesque zoo broke all its previous visitor records by raking in Rs 3.59 lakh on a single day. The overwhelming response also prompted the management to keep the zoo open on all January Mondays. Usually, the zoo is closed on the first day of the week.

Birsa zoo authorities are also scouting for a pair of ostriches. “A Calcutta-based private firm has recently approached us with a proposal. We expressed our willingness for a pair. Payment will be made on delivery,” Patra said.