This Andhra vet is treating every animal from pythons to leopards on the spot

Dr Andra Phaneendra is one busy man. He not only runs Paws N Claws - The Animal Care Clinic in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, he is also a Wildlife Veterinary Consultant with the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department. At his clinic, he is busy tending to injured and unwell pets like dogs, cats, birds, rabbits and more and his duty as a wildlife vet is to rescue animals. "I rescue and treat animals on the spot, or rehabilitate them in my clinic till they recover," says the 32-year-old. And he has the academic calibre to carry out all these activities as well. Apart from studying Veterinary Medicine from NTR College of Veterinary Science, Phaneendra also took up a one-month extensive course on Interventions in Wild Animal Health conducted by Interventions in Wild Animal Health by The Zoological Society of London, The Wildlife Institute of India, The Royal Veterinary College and The University of Edinburgh. It was conducted at Sariska Tiger Reserve located in Alwar, Rajasthan. He was also a Field Doctor with Animal Husbandry Department for ten long years! From dedicating his time to Bikkavolu, Chinturu and then Papikonda National Park, he has done it all. "As a Field Doctor, I used to help rescue smaller animals like monkeys and small mammals," he recollects.  

Talk it out: Dr Andra Phaneendra working in a team | (Pic: Dr Andra Phaneendra)

So how does a regular day in Phaneendra's life look like? "I get frequent calls, whether it's from the Forest Department or those who reach out to me through my social media pages and I try to attend to each and every one of them," says the youngster. So far, he has rescued a diverse range of animals, from Indian bison to fishing cats, from snakes to even leopards! "I haven't really kept a count, but I must have rescued 300 animals at least," he says. His work at the clinic helps him finance all his rescues and the Forest Department has proved to be extremely helpful in all aspects as well. "I have always been passionate about wildlife and forests," says the Rajahmundry-based vet. 

The instance of recusing a 15 feet-long python made him very popular

What next for Phaneendra? "There is no post of a Veterinary Doctor in the Forest Department, but if something like that opens up, I would love to take it up," says the youngster, sounding excited. He also wants to work on himself on the academic front and pursue some more courses. Whenever he finds something on the World Wide Web in relation to a course or a workshop, he tries to take that up. Not just this, he has taken workshops too. Like in the month of March, he and his colleagues at the Forest Department conducted a workshop for 40 veterinary doctors who had come from three districts of Andhra Pradesh, West Godavari, East Godavari and Krishna. It was a memorable moment for Phaneendra. 

At that time
Some memorable rescues of Phaneendra

- Last year, he rescued a 15 feet-long python who was being aggressive because she was protecting her 15 eggs. After being rescued, she wasn't to be found and Phaneendra artificially nurtured the eggs in an incubator and after they grew up, left them in appropriate areas    

- Once, a leopard had strayed into a village and he helped dart it and after it had been tranquilised, they took him to Indira Gandhi Zoological Park and kept it there for two months. After that, they left it in a safe place in the forest  

- An Asian palm civet was killed and six babies were left behind. For two and a half months, he took care of them, trained them to hunt for small food like rats and then left them in the wild

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