In Jhansi, BRT forest gets more sniffing power

In Jhansi, BRT forest gets more sniffing power to tackle wildlife crime

The German Shepherd dog named Jhansi joined the team at BRT last week

Forest guard Basavaraju and watcher Siddaramanna are the handlers of the canine. Credit: DH Photo

The Biligiri Ranganatha Swamy Temple (BRT) tiger reserve has added a German Shepherd dog to its squad on the lines of Bandipur tiger reserve, which has a mudhol dog to detect forest crime. 

The German Shepherd dog named Jhansi joined the team at BRT last week. The nine-month-old Jhansi underwent seven months of training at the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) training centre in Haryana, in detecting forest crime.

Forest guard Basavaraju and watcher Siddaramanna are the handlers of the canine. 

The handlers also underwent training held in Chandigarh. The dog will be deployed at the Punajanur range, BRT officials said.

The department had bought German Shepherd ‘Rana’ in 2015 to detect forest crime in Bandipur, a first-of-its-kind acquisition in the state. 

Rana, which was very sharp and intelligent, had helped the department detect several crimes in Bandipur and other reserve forests.

It was also used during operations to capture tigers. Though it is nearing retirement age, Rana is still active in detecting crimes. Mudhol dog Margaret is being trained as a replacement to Rana. 

Jhansi is part of the project undertaken by NGO TRAFFIC and the World Wildlife Fund to train dogs in detecting forest crime.  

She now responds to the commands of her handlers and is getting used to the forest environment.

The dog will require a few months to finally get on the job, said G Santoshkumar, deputy conservator of forests and director of BRT.