Karnataka

A field man who was documenting wild tuskers

S. Manikandan  

Officers and staff of Forest Department, in shock over the death of Conservator of Forests S. Manikandan, described him as a “field man” who always led from the front. He was in the process of documenting the numbers and the range of wild tuskers in Nagarahole besides making their individual profiles.

Manikandan was one of the few field directors of the parks who knew the home range and territory of various elephants and tigers that received an ID based on their camera trap images, according to his colleague Manoj Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forests, Project Elephant. He had earlier worked in various capacities in Bengaluru, BRT Sanctuary, Kodagu, Ballari, Raichur, and more and was due for a promotion later this year.

In little over an year, two Forest Department staff have lost their lives in the line of duty, while engaging in fire extinguishing and related exercises.

Unsafe territory

In February 2017, Murigeppa Tammangol, a guard who was engaged in stomping out blazing flames in the Kalkere range of Bandipur National Park, died of asphyxiation and burn injuries

A senior Forest Department staff said it is “providence and sheer luck” that enables the staff to carry on their day-to-day activity to safeguard the forests. “We walk for hours as part of daily patrolling and forest protection. Such incidents only highlight the perils under which the staff work,” he added.


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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 12:23:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/a-field-man-who-was-documenting-wild-tuskers/article22921401.ece

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