Wild animals suffer from injuries and sickness, and are also found in orphaned state. Such animals would otherwise perish if their rescue and rehabilitation is not provided. In urban areas, depleting natural habitat, unavailability of prey and urban expansion cause wild animals such as common leopards, small mammals and many bird species to venture into human settlements. In such cases, wild animals are at risk of being injured and killed, and may also pose threat to humans. Similarly, in the buffer zones around protected areas, wild animals frequently enter human settlements requiring rescue operations almost on a daily basis. Successful rescue operations need timely response executed by a well-equipped and organized team, and rescues may need to be executed at any time of the day. Rehabilitating rescued animals with optimum treatment and care, and keeping them in nurturing captive environment ensures such wild animals recover and survive after their safe release in their natural habitat.
At present, the Central Zoo is positioned as the primary center for rescue, treatment and care of wild animals in and around the Kathmandu Valley. Rescue animals include problematic animals that have come into conflict with humans, besides sick, injured and abandoned animals. Annually, NTNC leads rescue and rehabilitation of hundreds of wild animals which are carried out by a dedicated team consisting of wildlife veterinarians, rescue specialists and animal keepers. During captive stage, animal welfare is ensured by providing health care, food and nutrition, shelter and quarantine, whereby animals are kept in the holding area until they are released back in the wild. Similarly, NTNC's Biodiversity Conservation Center at Chitwan National Park team up with the park staffs to carry out rescue operations on a wide range of species such as tigers, rhinos, snakes and birds. NTNC played an active role in the successful transboundary rescue of 11 rhinos that were swept away to India by the devastating 2017 terai floods. Another example of a major rescue event was in February 2018, where NTNC successfully rescued and released a GPS-transmitter fitted Steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis) that had lost its way due to its morbid condition while under study by a Mongolian research institution. NTNC regularly engages to capacitate local communities to work as Rapid Response Teams who also undertake wild animal rescue as an important part of their work. NTNC continues to strengthen its capacity in wild animal rescue and rehabilitation by creating more trained staffs, improving veterinary care and facilities, and using better science and technology.