IAS Officer Faces Flak by Public for Feeding Wild Tusker in Bandipur Tiger Reserve
- Indian Masterminds Bureau
- Published on 16 Jan 2021, 2:42 pm IST
- 3 minutes read
IAS officer B B Cauvery visited the Venugopalaswamy temple at the Bandipur Tiger Reserve and fed a wild tusker of the region, causing her to draw severe criticism from wildlife activists and people.
- IAS B B Cauveri feeding a wild tusker
Bandipur National Park established in 1974 as a tiger reserve under Project Tiger, is a national park located in the Indian state of Karnataka, which is the state with the second highest tiger population in India. It was once a private hunting reserve for the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore but has now been upgraded to Bandipur Tiger Reserve and is known for its wildlife. It is located in Gundlupet taluk of Chamarajanagar district.
Recently, the Bandipur Tiger Reserve came into spotlight when the incident of an Indian Administrative Service officer, B B Cauvery, feeding a wild tusker at Gopalaswamy hill at the reserve came into light.
Ms. Cauvery is a 2008 batch officer from Karnataka cadre and is currently serving as the Director of Directorate of Urban Development. During her visit to the Venugopalaswamy temple atop Gopalaswamy hill situated at Gundlupet taluk in Chamarajanagar, on Thursday, she fed a wild tusker.
Some onlookers present at the area took photographs of the officer feeding the wild animal on the occasion of Maha Sankranti, and uploaded the photographs on social media which immediately drew lots of criticism from numerous wildlife activists and people. The critics pointed out that the officer has transgressed wildlife regulations by feeding a wild elephant. They blamed the IAS officer for advertently or inadvertently violating the wildlife regulations by feeding a wild tusker
On the other hand, she was also condemned for receiving VIP treatment at the temple as she had earlier served as the deputy commissioner of Chamarajanagar.
Joseph Hoover, a wildlife activist and member of the state wildlife board said that it was baffling that the Forest Department has allowed the temple authorities to lure and feed the wild tusker. “The tusker is a frequent visitor to the temple which obviously comes to relish the goodies offered by animal friendly temple staff. But, the fallout of this largesse could impact local communities which live on the periphery of Bandipur Tiger Reserve. The tusker could enter hamlets expecting people to offer fruits. If, and when, there is a human casualty, it will be the tusker which will be branded a rogue elephant, captured and consigned to an elephant camp,” he said.
He further said that had the range forest officer of Gopalaswamy Betta range been vigilant, he would have cautioned temple staff to avoid such offerings.
The wild tusker is a frequent visitor to the temple situated at the top of Himavad Gopalaswamy hills in BTR and is also named as ‘Gopala Bhakt’ or devotee of Lord Gopal a.k.a Krishna. Its occasional visit resulted in an increase in the quantity of tourists visiting the place.
Commenting on the incident, BTR Director S R Natesh said that the forest department officials were not at the spot during the incident and they are being informed about it through social media. “We are examining the case and also on the role of temple staff. We would take a suitable decision in this regard soon,” he said.
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