The Government of Maharashtra, in view of the rich flora and fauna in Vidarbha region, decided to establish an International Zoo at Gorewada, Nagpur in November 2011. Considering the importance of the wildlife in the ecosystem and obligation of its conservation through research, extension and education, the Maharashtra Animal & Fishery Sciences University, Nagpur proposed a ‘Wildlife Research and Training Centre’ (WRTC) at Gorewada, Nagpur with a total outlay of Rs. 1873.74 lakh which was further approved by the Department of Forest, Government of Maharashtra. The Memorandum of Understanding to this effect was signed between MAFSU and FDCM on 3rd April, 2014 on approval of Government of Maharashtra extended vide its letter No. MaPaVi/2014/Pra. Kra. 11/MAFSU dated 18.02.2014.
The centre is located in the campus of Gorewada Rescue Centre and is established to provide expertise in the field of wildlife conservation through inputs in in-situ and ex-situ conservation programmes, health care, management, nutrition, forensics, rehabilitation, conservation, and diagnostics. The centre along with its collaborating partner, Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd., Nagpur are rendering veterinary services and expertise to the captive and rescued wild animals of the Gorewada Rescue Centre. Currently 102 animals and birds are under the care and management of the centre at Gorewada Wildlife Rescue Centre, Gorewada, Nagpur.
To cater to the challenging needs of the wildlife, nine faculty positions have been recognised at the centre vide government resolution dated 18th March, 2016 and 31st August, 2017. Eleven supporting staff positions have also been recognized to ensure full fledged operations. State of art facilities for diagnosis, treatment, trauma care and rehabilitation are available at the centre which makes WRTC a unique centre in India. The centre is equipped with housing facilities for large carnivores, canids, bears, deers and monkeys. The centre also has a unique orphanage for wild animals to cater to the needs of orphaned wildlife. Disease diagnosis is critical in wildlife as it is a race against time, the centre has automated diagnostic equipment that can provide diagnosis at the snap of fingers.
Wildlife research in areas of behaviour, clinical research and basic science are the main forte of this unique centre. State of the art facilities for molecular and clinical research are available at the centre to shoulder wildlife research. Conservation breeding is yet another niche area where the WRTC pools its technical expertise to help conservation initiatives of the Government. The centre is also providing state of art facilities in the areas of trauma care and rehabilitation to all the critical and traumatized animals referred to the centre by the department of forest and various transit treatment centres.
Capacity building is another objective of the Wildlife Research and Training Centre, Gorewada. The centre imparts trainings to students of veterinary sciences background in various niche areas of wildlife including healthcare, management, nutrition, forensics, molecular tools and clinical research. A ten day internship is a routine activity at the centre to impart training and hands on experience to undergraduate students from various veterinary institutes in India. The centre also aims to train veterinarians in the field of wildlife healthcare, behaviour and clinical diagnosis for which training modules for state veterinarians are a regular feature.
The centre in the time to come aims to be a hub of research and training in the arena of wildlife. The centre in collaboration with its collaborating partner Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd, Nagpur has a vision to undertake conservation breeding of the endangered fauna and undertake novel research in wildlife health care and management.