August 27, 2015

Inspiration for the day

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Arul, Krishnanivas, Aruvikkara, Thiruvananthapuram

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It is not always possible to capture wild animals straying into human realms by tranquilizer bullets alone.  At such times the doctor attempting such action needs the help of someone who is brave but empathises with the predicament of animals.

Arul of Krishnanivas, Aruvikkara, Thiruvananthapuram had volunteered to help in the operation of turning back a wild tusker to forest in Poovar in 2004.  Seeing his ability and temperament, the wildlife doctors had taken the initiative to get him appointed as driver on temporary basis in the forest department.

Since then this 36-year-old has been involved in the rescue of about 1000 wild animals.  However, he is self-effacing in his assessment :  “This is just team work, bhai.  I am not Tarzan.  Because of little courage and strength and above all love for the animals, I am doing it, that is all.”

It may sometimes take many days of constant vigil to cajole the wild animals to come to the ‘treatment ward’, which will be a spot in the forest with plenty of trees.  As doctors treat the animal under sedation, the ‘ward’ is barricaded by branches tied across the trees.  When the animal comes to its senses, it will be forced to eat the antibiotic-laced fruits kept in the enclosure.  After the ‘patient’ regains health, he will be discharged from the enclosure.  And Arul has the patience needed for the vigil and other activities connected with their treatment.

Elephants are his favourites but he has had his share of rescuing other animals like tiger and bear.

Although he has risked his life on many occasions, he has not received any award for bravery.  “After all, the ones I have rescued are only animals,” Arul smiles.

However, he would have been content with a permanent post in the department.  But for someone always on the alert to rescue the next helpless beast, pushing documents through offices hasn’t been a successful mission.

When even his juniors manage these things with ease, he turns philosophical, “Isn’t life itself a temporary gift.”


Courtesy: J.Philip (text and photo), Mathrubhumi Weekend, July 18, 2015

"The greatness of a nation can  be judged by the way its animals are treated."