UP tiger reserve seeks nod to appoint own vet, other staff

Pilibhit: The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR) authorities have sought approval to appoint its own veterinary officer, biologist and sociologist instead of outsourcing these services, an official said on Wednesday.

PTR Field Director H Rajamohan said he had sought the approval of Uttar Pradesh’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) for appointing these officials on contract basis.

None of the tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries in Uttar Pradesh has its own veterinary officer despite a directive by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). The NTCA should pay the contractual officers, said the PTR Director.

The PTR, which was established in 2014, recently faced flak over the death of a tiger minutes after it was tranquilised.

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The tiger reserves in Uttar Pradesh have to depend either on veterinary officers of zoos, non-government organisations like the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) or other units during an emergency.

Appointing a veterinary officer is essential since he would then be accountable for any mishap during the treatment of animals in the tiger reserve.

A biologist was needed to carry out duties of reviewing the health of big cats, the ratio between herbivores and tigers, the need for changing grass species and the adequacy or deficiency of water bodies, among other things.

The sociologist would educate and inform communities living in the proximity of PTR on the measures needed to minimise man-animal conflict that has been on the rise in recent years.

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