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Nagarhole Tiger Reserve Director Trampled to Death by Wild Tusker

The 45-year-old S Manikandan was an affable senior official of the Indian Forest Services, who had worked hard on the issue of tribal rights and forest conservation in the region with much success.

Deepa Balakrishnan | CNN-News18deepab18

Updated:March 3, 2018, 11:45 PM IST
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Nagarhole Tiger Reserve Director Trampled to Death by Wild Tusker
File photo of S Manikandan, who was a senior official of the Indian Forest Services. (Image: News18)
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Bengaluru: The Director of the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve was trampled to death by a wild tusker on Saturday. The Director was on an inspection of his forest range that is located near Mysore.

The 45-year-old S Manikandan was an affable senior official of the Indian Forest Services, who had worked hard on the issue of tribal rights and forest conservation in the region with much success.

On Saturday, he had gone with seven to eight officials of the DB Kuppe range close to the Kabini dam backwaters. The purpose of the visit was to assess damage caused by a minor fire on Friday.

He wanted to see if the fire was completely doused and if the fire lines are intact. The fire lines are important to be maintained to ensure that fires don't spread deep inside.

"Everyone started running the moment they saw the wild elephant. Unfortunately in heat of the moment, the CF took a different route, while all others went in another direction. Also, he tripped. The minute he tripped, the elephant perhaps realised he was easy prey and decided to target him and left the others. The tusker gored and trampled him to death," said Mysore Deputy Commissioner Randeep.

He hailed from Madurai, and is survived by his wife and two children who live in Bengaluru. The body will be handed to the family after a post-mortem.

Manikandan has been serving as Director of the Tiger Reserve for more than two years.

"He had worked hard to persuade the tribals in the region to accept the government's rehabilitation package. He was instrumental in working with the district authorities to protect forests and tribal rights. In fact, in four months we will complete the construction of about 350 homes for them and they are convinced they need to come out of the forest and into the mainstream. I would say this was his biggest contribution in this role, "said Randeep.
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