ARCs in Vizag, Tirupati may be turned into quarantine facilities

VISAKHAPATNAM: The forest department is planning to convert the Animal Rescue Center at the Visakhapatnam Zoological Park into a quarantine facility. The ARC has 62 unused cubicles and can cater, if the need arises, to both Visakhapatnam and Rajahmundry circles.
There are five ARCs in the country of which Andhra Pradesh has two — one in Visakhapatnam and the other in Tirupati. Together they have the capacity to house at least 120 animals and come equipped with their own hospital facilities.
Speaking to TOI, chief conservator of Visakhapatnam circle, Rahul Pandey, said, “We use the ARC as a quarantine centre on a regular basis, whenever we bring in or rescue animals. For examples, when the Asiatic lions were brought from Junagadh, they were quarantined and examined here before being released into their enclosures. Same is the case with a leopard rescued near Rajahmundry.”
The chief conservator added that as of now, no animal has been quarantined owing to coronavirus and the zoo is being sanitised daily. He said, “We follow a regimental method of running the zoo. All the measures being taken are as per protocol and these are inclusive of other regular sanitisation methods, which are usually followed.”
Pandey said, “The ARC in Visakhapatnam has 69 cubicles, out of which only six are being used, while the remaining 62 are empty.” There is a tigress in quarantine there but not due to Covid-19.
Sources in the forest department said that they are prepared for any eventuality and are confident that the ARCs in both Visakhapatnam and Tirupati would be more than sufficient.
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