Rana died of age-related diseases. He was laid to rest near the safari center of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.
Sniffer dog Rana who was the scourge of anti-social elements and helped crack multiple poaching and hunting cases, including a few in other States, died of natural causes at Bandipur on Tuesday and was accorded a State funeral by the Forest Department.
A German Shepherd, he was born on December 12, 2013, and belonged to the 28th battalion to pass out of the Dog Training Centre of the Special Armed Forces in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
He trained from October 13, 2014, to June 23, 2015, and was inducted and deployed at Bandipur in June 2015. As the first member of the dog squad, Rana had helped sniff out various crimes, including poaching and hunting.
On March 9, 2016, Rana helped provide vital clues to the forest department squad to crack a timber smuggling case in N. Begur. He followed it up by zeroing in on miscreants who had poisoned two leopards in the Omkar range of Bandipur Tiger Reserve in July of the same year.
He was also instrumental in busting a bursting sandalwood racket at Srirangapatana in Mandya district. As the fame of Rana’s expertise in sniffing out various forest-related crimes spread far and wide, he came to be in demand in other parts of the State. He would be deputed to secure a breakthrough in cracking various offenses and forest crimes.
With his impeccable training and inherent sense of smell, Rana would detect the hideout of leopards and tigers, evading capture or tranquilization during combat operations in conflict conditions. This includes the episode where he offered assistance in the tranquilization and capture of a tiger declared a man-eater on the prowl in Mudumalai in the neighboring Tamil Nadu.
Mr. Ramesh Kumar, Director, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, said Rana, in his seven years of service with the forest department, had helped crack more than 45 forest crimes apart from helping capture and tranquilize eight tigers.
Rana’s death was received with a sense of grief and sadness by his handler and other forest department staff though he had retired some time ago. As Rana lay draped in the National Flag, senior officials, including Mr. Ramesh Kumar, placed wreaths on his body and saluted before cremating him.