Meerut: Wildlife conservation it seems is being taken very seriously by the authorities looking into wildlife matters. In a welcome move, five leopard rescue centers are being setup in Meerut, Chitrakoot, Etawah, Gorakhpur and Pilibhit. These will be in addition to the already existing centre in Agra. Agra mainly focuses on saving bears and elephants. Notably wild animals caught in Uttar Pradesh are sent to zoos in Kanpur or Lucknow.
The main idea behind setting up the rescue centers in forest areas is to keep wild animals in forest territory. Later they can be safely released into the forests. Animals permanently injured will only be sent to the zoo. These new rescue centers will be spread across a 100 km radius. Rs 5 crore will be given to each center. The center of Meerut will be built in the border town of Hastinapur in Bijnor district.
Each will have facilities for rescue, treatment, collection of medicines and cages. These centers will also have accommodation for veterinary staff. M. Semaraman, DFO of Bijnor had sent a proposal to build a rescue center 2 years ago. The population of big cats is very high here, so cases of conflict with humans are also high. In recent times, there has been an increase in the human-animal conflict in the Terai region.