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Priyanka Pandharinath Lagad: A Defender of Wildlife

by In-house Editor

In the heart of the Ratnagiri division, amidst the rugged landscapes and dense forests, there stands a guardian—a woman of remarkable courage and dedication. Her name is Priyanka Pandharinath Lagad, and she is not just a Range Forest Officer, but a beacon of hope for the wildlife that calls this region home.

Priyanka’s journey began with a rigorous 1.5-year training program at the Central Forest Academy for State Forest Services. Equipped with knowledge and determination, she embarked on her mission to protect and conserve the precious biodiversity of the Ratnagiri division.

Over the course of four years, Priyanka served within the Ratnagiri Territorial Range—a tenure marked by countless acts of bravery and compassion. Amidst the rugged terrain and untamed wilderness, she faced formidable challenges head-on, demonstrating unwavering courage and resilience.

One of Priyanka’s most remarkable achievements is her role in rescuing 35 leopards—a testament to her unwavering commitment to wildlife conservation. Each rescue operation posed its own set of risks and challenges, yet Priyanka approached them with determination and compassion, ensuring the safety and well-being of both the leopards and her team.

Priyanka’s dedication to her work was put to the ultimate test when she encountered a leopard attack during one of her rescue operations. Despite the danger and adversity, she remained steadfast, displaying remarkable courage and composure in the face of adversity.

In recognition of her extraordinary efforts, Priyanka was honored with the Vandurga Award in 2020—a well-deserved accolade that serves as a testament to her bravery and dedication to wildlife conservation.

But for Priyanka, the true reward lies not in the accolades or recognition, but in knowing that she has made a difference in the lives of the animals she has sworn to protect. Her unwavering commitment to the cause of wildlife conservation serves as an inspiration to us all, reminding us of the importance of preserving our natural heritage for future generations.

As we celebrate Priyanka’s success in achieving Best Range Officer during the Wildlife Tourism Conclave and Awards 2024, in Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai, Priyanka continues her noble mission as a defender of wildlife, let us salute her courage, dedication, and unwavering commitment to protecting the precious biodiversity of our planet. Priyanka Pandharinath Lagad is more than just a Range Forest Officer—she is a true guardian of the wild.

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