As forest department officials in Bengaluru celebrated the valedictory function of the 63rd Wildlife Week on Monday, the staffers elsewhere in the state were busy capturing and cremating wild animals.
K S Sugara, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, during the function, urged people to join hands with the department to mitigate conflict and reduce the number of deaths. He said that while 40 people died in Karnataka in conflicts, 42 were martyred since 1991.
On Monday morning, a female elephant was hit by a speeding train in Khanapur taluk of Belagavi district. The elephant was thrown off the bridge and died immediately. In another incident, forest staffers were busy trying to capture an injured tiger from a cotton field near Bandipur Tiger Reserve. The tiger had injured a woman when she entered the field on Sunday night.
Sugara also pointed out to the killing of three leopards in Haveri, Davangere and in Chamarajanagar last week.
The department honoured 16 forest officers for their exemplary service in forest protection. Sanjay Tiwari from Malaysian Airlines, who helped the department rescue black terrapins and Sham Sundar, Deputy Director, Revenue Intelligence, who helped rescue 1,024 star tortoises at Kempegowda International Airport, were also honoured.
A brochure on “Butterflies of Bannerghatta National Park”, prepared by Bengaluru Butterfly Club, was released on the occasion. School and college students who participated in various competitions organised by the forest department were awarded. Principals of government schools around Bannerghatta forest were also honoured for partnering with the forest department in conservation activities.