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Forest officer’s death: Protocols were ignored, say wildlife experts

The shocking incident in which director of Nagarhole Forest Reserve S Manikandan died in an elephant attack could have been avoided if precautionary measures were taken, feel wildlife experts.

Published: 04th March 2018 02:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th March 2018 06:34 AM   |  A+A-

District officials paying their last respects to IFS officer S Manikandan at Aranya Bhavan in Mysuru

Express News Service

HUBBALLI: The shocking incident in which director of Nagarhole Forest Reserve S Manikandan died in an elephant attack could have been avoided if precautionary measures were taken, feel wildlife experts.
Most importantly the team went to inspect the fire ravaged area of Nagarhole without any weapon. Firearm is an important tool in elephant areas which can be used to scare tuskers. Moreover, the ground staff should have done a thorough perambulation of the area, so that the presence or the movement of elephants could have been detected.

Sources said the officer was taken by surprise when the elephant charged at him as he was talking over mobile phone. “There was hardly any time for the officer to escape. But use of weapons could have scared the elephant. The elephant first attacked the ranger and then attacked the officer. While in the first attack, it pushed the officer down and in the second attack, it gored him.

If a weapon was used the officer could have been taken away to a safe distance,” the sources said.“The officials who accompanied the director and the ranger ran away when the elephant charged at them. Finally, the drivers were able to scare the elephant away from the ranger who had fallen down,” the sources added.

IFS officer guided his subordinates, says DCF
Mysuru: As the new of the death of IFS officer S Manikandan — who was killed by an elephant on Saturday — spread, forest personnel and members of the public thronged the H D Kote hospital.  The body was brought to Mysuru for postmortem. DCF P Ramesh Kumar said Manikandan was an inspiration and always guided his subordinates on forest management and other related issues. Manikandan is survived by wife Sangeetha, son Anbu and daughter Selvi. A host of relatives and friends from his native Theni in Tamil Nadu also reached the hospital. IFS officers serving in Bandipur, Nagarhole, Mysuru,
B R Hills, and Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary were shocked over the death of Manikandan.  Retired APCCF C Srinivasan said this was the first time that an officer on duty was killed by an elephant. He opined that Manikandan could have survived if he was armed.



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