17 January, 2021

This ex-forester passes on his zeal for conservation to children

This ex-forester passes on his zeal for conservation to children

HIS ornery demeanour could leave you with an impression that he is rude and dispassionate. But it’s an essential ingredient of K.M. Chinnappa’s aggressive protectionism that’s made him thoroughly unpopular with laissez-faire officials. It’s also helped him preserve the sanctity of the Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka for 20 years. And post-retirement, a mix of his tough talk, inestimable integrity and steely determination have furthered his crusade for conservation of forests and wildlife.

This lone ranger is now striving to raise an army of conservationists — from school and college students, teachers and foresters and villagers— through the Nagarhole Wildlife Conservation Education Project (N AW I C O E D). He launched this mission after going through an ordeal that could pass off as a piece of dramatic fiction. As the Range Forest Officer at Nagarhole, Chinnappa’s zeal to curb poaching and smuggling won him more enemies than friends. Unruly tourists and ‘frolicsome’ officials were prevented from turning...



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