The National Zoological Park here has procured its first anaesthetic machine in a bid to eliminate the need for administering anaesthetic drugs while sedating animals.
The machine delivers an inhaled anaesthetic to an animal to keep it unconscious through surgery and also wipes out chances of side-effects, zoo officials said.
"It will eliminate the need for using anaesthetic drugs as sometimes these medicines have side effects on the animals," zoo director Renu Singh said.
The machine was procured in the wake of a workshop being conducted by the zoo and the Central Zoo Authority in collaboration with Smithsonian National Zoological Park, US.
As part of the workshop, a team comprising Jessica Seigsl-Willott, Budhan Pukazhenthi and Anthony Coulbourn Barthel of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park trained veterinarians from various zoos in the country in using gas anaesthesia on animals.
"When you use gas anaesthesia, you can wipe out the effect on animals as soon as you switch off the machine. But in case of drugs, there is always a window of effects. Sometimes the effect of the drugs remain for an hour or half an hour," said Budhan Pukazhenthi, a reproductive physiologist.
This method of anaesthesia is commonly used for felines, he said, adding "but we are trying to introduce it to the wildlife in Indian zoos".
Pukazhenthi, when asked, said the machine costs an estimated USD 10,000 in the US, which roughly translates to over Rs six lakh.
The Delhi zoo is organising the workshop titled 'Capacity Building of Indian Zoo Veterinarians on Animal Health Management in Captivity' from September 11 to 19.
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