Sh. N. Prateep Kumar, IFS, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF) and PCCF (WL) & CWLW, AP has graced the inaugural occasion of National Zoo Keepers’ Training on Captive Management of Reptiles conducted at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, Visakhapatnam which is being organized in collaboration with Central Zoo Authority. All the Reptile animal keepers from Indian Zoos should utilize this opportunity and learn all practical skills from this program, he said. It is the first of its kind that reptile captive management & conservation training event is being conducted in the country, he added.
He said that reptiles are always around us and there is a need to know about them. Animal keepers play an important role in zoos, he added. This type of trainings would be useful for animal keepers to further enhance their existing skills. He said it would be nice if similar programs could be conducted offline, but due to this pandemic situation, it is being conducted in hybrid mode, he said. That recording these sessions would be very useful for everyone for reference later.
Nearly 80 people from 40 different Indian zoos participated in this event. It was important for everyone involved in the training, both online and offline, to know all about reptiles, said Chief Conservator of Forests, Sh. Rahul Pandey, IFS, CCF (Wildlife), AP. Sh. P. Ram Mohan Rao, IFS, Conservator of Forests, Visakhapatnam said that he was very happy to organize such a prestigious event at IGZP. In the first-day session, Dr. Gowri Mallapur, explained how to identify males and females in turtles, how to mark them in an easy to remember manner and what is the basic biology of turtles. In the afternoon session, the practical session was done at the turtle’s enclosure. Dr. Nandani Salaria, IFS, Curator said that volunteers, members from NGOs like WCTRE & EGWS, all the other zoo staff also participated in this event along with other keepers.