Forest Watcher Dies in Elephant Attack at Bandipur Reserve

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The tragic incident

A forest watcher who was part of the special Tiger Protection Force (TPF) lost his life in an elephant attack at the Bandipur Tiger Reserve on Thursday. The deceased has been identified as Raju B (38), who had been working with the Karnataka Forest Department for over a decade. He was on patrol duty at Moleyur range when a wild tusker charged at him and trampled him to death.

The brave service of Raju

Raju was a dedicated and courageous forest watcher who had played a vital role in tiger conservation and anti-poaching activities at the reserve. He had helped catch many poachers and smugglers who were involved in illegal wildlife trade. He had also participated in several rescue and relocation operations of wild animals. He was highly respected by his colleagues and seniors for his commitment and skills.

 Elephant Attack

The condolences and compensation

The forest department officials and staff expressed their deep sorrow and grief over the loss of Raju. They paid their last respects to him at his native village in Chamarajanagar district. They also offered their condolences and support to his family, who survived by his wife and two children. The forest department announced a compensation of Rs 30 lakh to his family as per the government norms.

The challenges and risks of forest watchers

The forest watchers are the frontline staff of the forest department who are responsible for protecting and managing the wildlife and forests. They face many challenges and risks in their daily work, such as harsh weather conditions, difficult terrain, hostile locals, and dangerous animals. They also have to deal with the threats of poachers, encroachers, and forest fires. They often work with limited resources and equipment, and receive low salaries and incentives.

The need for more safety and recognition

The forest watchers are the unsung heroes of wildlife conservation, who sacrifice their lives and livelihoods for the sake of nature. They deserve more safety and recognition for their invaluable service. They need better training, equipment, insurance, and welfare schemes to ensure their well-being and security. They also need more appreciation and respect from the society and the government for their contribution to the environment.

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