Forest guard, volunteer on census duty in TN’s Sathayamangalam die in elephant attack

Another forest guard watcher also sustained grievous injuries in the attack and is currently undergoing treatment at a government hospital.
Forest Guard watcher Satheesh
Forest Guard watcher Satheesh
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In a tragic incident, a forest guard watcher and a volunteer were killed in an elephant attack in the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve on Thursday. The two were part of a team of forest personnel that had set out into the reserve to carry out a wildlife census. The team, consisting of guard watchers and volunteers, had entered the dense reserve and begun the survey under the guidance of a guard watcher. However, a lone elephant attacked them leading to the death of a forest guard watcher and a volunteer while another forest guard watcher sustained injuries.

The deceased were identified as forest guard Satheesh Kumar (24) and volunteer Muthu Prabhakara Serapandiyan. Guard watcher Ponganeshan sustained grievous injuries and is currently undergoing treatment at a government hospital.

Talking to TNM, a Forest Ranger at the Sathyamanagalam reserve said, “A team of forest personnel, guard watchers and volunteers went to the reserve and were taking a census of the wild animals. The team was following a guard watcher and as he moved ahead, he witnessed an elephant passing behind him. By the time he could alert the team, the pachyderm damaged a huge tree and started to attack guard watcher Ponganeshan.”

“The elephant chased Ponganeshan for a distance and began to break the branches of another tree. The volunteers managed to rescue him immediately and take him to a watchtower,” he added.

Meanwhile, the elephant started attacking Satheesh and Muthu. “When the volunteers went in search of the two, they found them dead at the spot,” he added. Forest department personnel have sent their bodies for a post-moterm.

The deceased Satheesh Kumar was part of the state Forest department’s volleyball team. Just in March this year, he had represented the state in the volleyball competition at the All India Forest Sports Meet in Bhubaneswar and won the gold. Expressing regret over the two deaths, the Forest Ranger recalled Satheesh as a hardworking and talented young man.

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