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Subrata Pal Chowdhury

Subrata Pal Chowdhury

Subrata Pal Chowdhury, a technical assistant with the West Bengal Wildlife Wing, treating an elephant injured in a train accident. Photo Credit: S. Kriti.

Month Year: April 2000

Sanctuary Millennium Wildlife Service Award

Technical Assistant in the West Bengal Wildlife Wing of the Forest Department, Subrata Pal Chowdhury is an expert in the art of the immobilisation and transport of wild animals. On call 24 hours a day throughout the state of West Bengal, he regularly answers SOS calls to help capture wild animals that wander into human habitats.In his words: “My task is to see that wild animals do not come to any harm from humans who themselves wish to avoid harm from animals.” He has so far immobilised 16 different wild species, including more than 50 elephants, 12 rhinos, tigers, leopards, a sloth bear, primates and deer.

He has helped to motivate others in the forest department and with his assistance, the West Bengal Wildlife Wing has successfully translocated more than 500 chital to restock carnivore habitats in the largest deer translocation of its kind in India. By helping to increase the prey base in areas such as Jaldapara Sanctuary and Buxa Tiger Reserve, he has given the tiger an extra lease of life. He has also been responsible for numerous seizures of illegal wildlife products including tiger and leopard skins, shahtoosh shawls and rhino horn. A recipient of the ‘Best Wildlife Worker’ Award in West Bengal, he has also imparted professional training in tranquillising and treating animals to forest officials of other states like Gujarat and Tripura.

First published in: Sanctuary Asia, Vol XX No. 2, April 2000.

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