Forest rangers training in Nepal

In Nepal, red pandas are safe in protected forest areas where they have trees to climb and familiar paths to walk. However, from time to time, a red panda finds itself in the populated areas of Nepal. It is then confronted with the danger of roads and the increased presence of stray dogs.

This often leads to situations where frightened animals wander off, or worse.

That's why the Red Panda Network (RPN) trains its rangers not only to protect red pandas in their natural habitat, but also to rescue them in such situations.

The story of the rescue of red pandas in Nepal

A ranger from the Chenga Sherpa forest, transporting a red panda into the forest for release, 2016
  • In 2016, a female red panda wandered into the Taplejung district of eastern Nepal. Frightened and confused, she could easily have been injured or lost. Fortunately, trained keepers were able to intervene and capture her, before releasing her in a safe place.
  • In March 2019, a red panda ventured into the rural municipality of Maijogmai. It was chased by stray dogs. Fortunately, the red panda was rescued by local residents and released back into its natural habitat, away from the dangers of the municipality.
  • Barely a month later, the construction and maintenance of footpaths in the rural region of Chaite, in eastern Nepal, also put a red panda in danger. It ran, panicked and frightened, onto the path where a team from the local community was working. They managed to surround the animal, capture it and carefully place it in a "doko", a bamboo basket.

Red panda rescued in the Chaïte countryside, April 2019

The local team then contacted Mountain Organization Nepal, a local partner of Red Panda Network, which was able to return the red panda to its natural habitat.

Fortunately, trained and compassionate locals were on hand to help these lost red pandas. However, not all stories of red pandas wandering out of their protected forest have such happy endings.

As an organisation dedicated to protecting red pandas, Red Panda Network staff must be trained and ready to rescue red pandas in dangerous situations such as these.

For this reason, this year the RPN has introduced in-depth wildlife rescue training for forest rangers.

Forest guardians: saving the red pandas

Ramesh Rai at the wildlife rescue course

Ramesh Rai is one of twenty forest guardians from Ilam and Panchthar districts who took part in wildlife rescue training in April. The two-day training programme was conducted by Mr Purushotam Pandey, a veterinarian from the Directorate of Livestock and Fisheries Development.

During this training, participants learn how to safely rescue wild animals in dangerous situations, such as moving wild water buffalo and controlling wild tigers. As well as being experts on red pandas, forest guardians are equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to protect the entire ecosystem.

They also learnt how to handle tools such as tranquilliser darts. And of course their knowledge of laws and legislation has been updated.

This training course is part of the " sustainable livelihoods programme " The RPN's "environmental education" programme enables local communities to acquire the environmental skills and knowledge they need to live in harmony with their natural environment.

These training courses are made possible thanks to the donations and support provided by all the partners of the Red Panda Network. None of this would be possible without the work of all the institutions involved in conservation, whether animal parks, sponsors or private individuals.

Working together across borders shows that anything is possible!

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