A wild tusker killed a senior Indian Forest Service Officer in the thickly forested area in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, officials said. The incident occurred on Saturday, which happened to be World Wildlife Day.
Forest officials said the incident took place at Tatigundi Kere in the DB Kuppe range near Kakanakote at about 1.30 pm. The officer, S Manikandan, who was the Field Director of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, had gone to the area to assess the damage caused by a "mild" fire in the region on Saturday evening.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Punati Sridhar said Manikandan was accompanied by other forest officials.
After getting down from the jeep, they had walked for a while when the elephant attacked them from behind. While others managed to escape, Manikandan was attacked by the elephant and trampled to death.
He was taken to a government hospital where doctors declared him brought dead, Sridhar said.
"He was a good officer, who was committed to the conservation of forest. He was posted as the field director of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve two years ago," Sridhar said.
Some wildlife experts claim that precautionary measures were not adequately taken during the assessment, which led to Manikandan's demise. However according to The Hindu, even though the guards were armed, the elephant attacked the officials suddenly, giving them no time to react.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind took to Twitter to acknowledge S Manikandan's service to the nation.
My thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of Shri S. Manikandan, who lost his life while on duty at the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve. The country will remember him for his rich service and passion towards wildlife and forest conservation: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) March 4, 2018
"The country will remember him for his rich service and passion towards wildlife and forest conservation," Modi tweeted from the PMO India Twitter account.
Sad to learn of the very unfortunate death of Shri S. Manikandan, a dedicated Indian Forest Service officer who lost his life in a freak incident while on duty in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve. The nation salutes him. Thoughts with his family, friends and colleagues #PresidentKovind — President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) March 4, 2018
"The nation salutes him. Thoughts with his family, friends and colleagues," Ram Nath Kovind tweeted, adding that Manikandan was a dedicated Indian Forest Service officer.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Mar 04, 2018 19:24 PM