A Vet with a Lion Heart

Pashu Sandesh, 17th May 2019

There are many heartwarming stories circulating around the web in this hot season and hot contest of Lok Sabha Elections but the story which caught our attention is the story of Dr Krish Asokan a Veterinary Surgeon with the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) in Tamil Nadu.

Hyenas in South Indian forests are on the decline and the species has already been brought under schedule one of the Wildlife Protection Act and is a “near-threatened” species, as categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Why we are calling him a Vet with Lion Heart has a strong reason. Dr Asokan has recently rescued a nearly dead Hyena by his sheer diligence, knowledge and dedication toward his profession. Hyena which was in a coma for nearly eight days following a severe beating from the ignorant villagers has recently regained consciousness all due to hard work and care of Dr Asokan and his team at the STR.

As per Dr Asokan, “ The animal had its canine teeth missing. It suffered a head injury and the shoulder joint was dislocated. Maggots were found on its right ear and the animal had a damaged cornea. It had a swelling on forehead and neck, corneal ulceration in both the eyes, wound in the right eyebrow and right side ear. Owing to these complications, it was unable to feed on its own and was starving for more than a week in the woods”.  After transporting the animal to the STR’s Forest Veterinary Unit (FVU) at Karachikorai, the veterinary surgeon and his team—including nurse Balamani, livestock inspector Senthil Kumar and his assistant Marimuthu, as well as biologist Ganesh and his assistant Kesavan put in all their efforts to save the battered Animal.

“The following days were tense as the hyena continued to inch towards death, unable to stand or eat on his own. He lay on the operating table for 7 days, unmoving and kept alive by the transparent liquid trickling through him IV drip. Then suddenly, slowly, and with immense difficulty, he sat himself up. he still had some fight left in him” says Dr Asokan. Reconstructive Surgeries were done on the broken shoulder, and the Animal was fed with Beef, chicken, eggs and milk partly paid by Dr Asokan himself and the Forest Department.

“Over the following days, the animal steadily improved. he progressed from sitting up to standing and taking baby steps. Weakened, partially blind and still recovering from the jaw-injury, the hyena’s chances of survival in the wild are severely diminished, and we’re keeping him in our care before taking the decision to release him or provide him lifelong sanctuary. This is the first time a hyena is being treated and the first time in the country in living memory that an animal is recovering from a coma” says dr Asokan with pride in his voice.

We all want to search for God but the persons like Dr Krish Asokan are the examples of the manifestations of the God who comes to the rescue of the poor dumb Animals. Indeed Dr Krish Asokan is a Vet with a Lion Heart.