Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav on Monday gave away Prani Mitra awards for outstanding contribution by zoo director, curator, biologist, educationists, veterinarian and the animal keeper or zoo frontline.
Constituted by the Centre Zoo Authority (CZA), these awards are given every year under four categories.
This year, the awards were given at the valedictory function after a two-day national conference for zoo directors and veterinarians organized by the CZA and hosted by Sardar Patel Zoological Park (SVPZP) here.
The Prani Mitra award for ‘Outstanding Animal Keeper’ was bagged by Lakhi Devi from Bhagwan Birsa Zoological Park, Ranchi, Jharkhand; the ‘Outstanding Educationist/Biologist’ awardee was Harpal Singh, an educationist from the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, Chatbir, Punjab.
The ‘Outstanding Veterinarian’ award was given to Illiyaraja from the Agra Bear Rescue Facility, Uttar Pradesh while the ‘Outstanding Director’ awardee was Vibhu Prakash Mathur, Director, Vulture Conservation Breeding Centre, Pinjore, Haryana.
The valedictory programme was attended by Member Secretary, Central Zoo Authority, S.P. Yadav; PCCF & CWLW Gujarat, S. Tikadar; DIG, CZA, Sonali Ghosh and Director, SVPZP, Kevadita, Ram Ratan Nala.
Yadav encouraged the zoo community as a whole to continue their selfless work and the innovation and endeavors for protection of wildlife and wild habitats.
An outreach movie titled ‘Live in harmony with nature, stop illegal trade in wildlife’ produced by Wildlife Crime Control Bureau was also released on the occasion.