STR veterinarian gets Anna Medal for Gallantry

K. Asokan, wildlife veterinarian of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, with a rescued elephant calf.

K. Asokan, wildlife veterinarian of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, with a rescued elephant calf.

K.Asokan, wildlife veterinarian of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR), has been selected for the prestigious Anna Medal for Gallantry for saving wild elephants and also for protecting people.

Currently serving at STR from October, 2016, he has played a key role in capturing wild elephants that intruded into human habitations, treating them and releasing them into forests.

In December 2019, a 25-year-old elephant, Chinna Thambi, entered a residential area at Chinna Thadagam and killed seven people and caused damage to property.A team led by Dr. Asokan successfully captured the elephant and translocated it to Anamalai Tiger Reserve at Pollachi. However, the elephant entered villages and damaged crops. Based on the Madras High Court order, the elephant was captured after a long-struggle and the court appreciated the efforts of the team involved in it.

In December, 2020, a wild elephant nicknamed ‘Shankar’ killed three persons in Gudalur forest range that again entered forests in Kerala and killed two persons there and caused extensive damages to crops. After many days of intense monitoring, the elephant was finally captured and was shifted to Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. He was involved in capturing an elephant nicknamed as ‘Moorthy’ in Gudalur in 1998 that killed 22 persons. From 2016 to 2020, the veterinarian had rescued and treated 25 wild elephants and protected the lives of people and prevented damages to property.

Expressing happiness over the award, Mr. Asokan told The Hindu that the award would be an encouraging factor for many young veterinarians to serve in forests. “In my 30 years of service, including 12 years in the forest department, it is a big recognition”, he added.

Since the veterinarian was tested COVID-19 positive and is in home isolation, the award that carries a cheque of ₹1 lakh, would be presented to him later.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 10:03:38 pm |