Call of the wild - R S Bhadoria, ex-chief conservator of forests of UP

Kanpur Zoo is his baby. R S Bhadoria, ex-chief conservator of forests of UP and founder-director of Kanpur Zoo freaks out on tales from the jungle. Lure of the wild is writ large on life’s canvas for him. As member of Zoo Designing Committee with Central Zoo Authority, he is a pioneer of sorts, designing enclosures and facilities for zoo animals and visitors. The zoological gardens at Kanpur, Chennai, Patna, Chandigarh, Delhi, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Kolkota and Mumbai have gained from his deep insight. R. S. Bhadoria lives in tune with wild fauna.

In 1984, he arranged for capture of 6 rhinos from Pavitara wildlife sanctuary in Assam and escorted the first rhinos that flew to their new home at Dudhwa in UP. As the Russian airplane took off, the whirring engines agitated the caged team of six healthy one-horned rhinos. The rhinos’ reaction caught the young forest officer unawares, and he prayed fervently to the powers that be for a safe journey. His faith in God, good ethics and conduct have been his anchor in untried waters.

Way back in 1966 this wild-life enthusiast was the first in the world to use a tranquilsing gun on a tiger. A tiger caught in a poacher’s snare was detected by villagers due to his prolonged growling in the forest near Dehradun. Bhadoria chose the daunting task of freeing the tiger. The easier option of relieving the animal from pain was to put it to sleep, which he decided against. He procured a primitive nicotine tranquilising gun from Lucknow and from elephant back tranquilised the tiger.

Surprise, surprise…as nicotine surged through the tiger’s blood it regained its free stature! The snare was left behind as the tiger sprang towards the rescue-team on elephant back. This bravado was short-lived thanks to the defensive elephant, but the rescue team had never witnessed such a jungle thrill.
Bhadoria smiles contently at his dare-devilry as it freed the tiger from the poacher’s snare.

Now he designs zoo enclosures to entail happy inmates. The Mumbai zoo is receiving his focus for now, as he lobbies across to all who matter to give the animals more breathing space by way of a new zoo near Borivili’s Sanjay Gandhi Forest Reserve. Call of the wild reaches his trained ears over loud metro life!

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