Forest Department’s sharp-shooter officer
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Forest Department’s sharp-shooter officer

February 23, 2023

An expert in tiger, elephant capturing operation, Ranjan had darted tiger that had killed two persons in Kodagu

Siddapur (Kodagu): Sharpshooters of Forest Department play an important role and are known for their skills in capturing problem-causing wild animals such as leopards, tigers and wild elephants among others and they are engaged during man-animal conflicts to capture or rescue injured animals which pose danger to human beings.

For a sharpshooter, capturing a problem-causing animal needs dedicated efforts and a strong belief to save it along with patience and grit, which play a crucial role during an operation as every operation is different. One such sharpshooter is Kannanda Ranjan, who is serving as a Deputy Range Forest Officer (DRFO) at Dubare, Kodagu district.

Ranjan, along with combing expert elephant the daring Dasara elephant Abhimanyu, successfully darted the tiger that had killed two persons including an 18-year-old youth at K. Badaga village near Choorikaadu in Ponnampet taluk recently.

Seated on Abhimanyu, Ranjan fired the tranquilliser dart on the tiger without missing the aim even from far. The animal was sedated within moments which was later captured and shifted to Chamundi Wild Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre at Koorgalli in the outskirts of Mysuru.

Ranjan has so far participated in more than 25 operations to capture wild elephants and in nine operations to capture tigers. He is a recipient of the Chief Minister’s Award and also the Lifetime Achievement Awards given by the Kodagu Forest Department.

In February 2021, three persons including a teenager were killed in Ponnampet taluk and the big cat had created panic among the people. Ranjan was roped in by the Forest Department to trace and capture the tiger. The feline, however, was found dead later.

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Ranjan has also participated in over 25 operations to capture problem-causing wild elephants and has helped capture many wild elephants after tranquillising them. When wild elephants were creating havoc in Uttar Pradesh (UP) by killing people, the UP Forest Department had sought the help of Karnataka Forest Department to capture the problem-causing wild elephants.

Three sharp-shooters from Karnataka, including Ranjan, were selected and sent to UP. They were able to capture the wild elephants there with the help of tamed elephants and their works were appreciated by all.

Apart from taking part in operations to capture wild elephants, Ranjan was also part of the team that investigated many forest and wildlife smuggling cases.

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