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“Sir, I don’t think I can do that.” The frogs, still alive, had been brought into the classroom for dissection, and the Science Master was looking over the frog that had been placed right in front of the young Chinny Krishna. The frog was alive and the task at hand was first to kill the frog with a pin – and then to dissect it.

It had been an eventful time already for thirteen-year-old Chinny. Just a few months before, the boy had watched in alarm as a bus carrying members of the football team capsized. Without hesitating, Chinny, who was big for his age, ran straight to the bus, and pulled first one, then the other, of two brothers, both team players, out of the bus. The boys were bleeding badly, and Chinny’s white shirt was drenched in blood. Off they went to the hospital. Thanks to his quick action, both boys’ lives were saved.

Shortly after that dramatic rescue – at St. Joseph’s European High School, in Bangalore, in the south of India, the Science Master stood by Chinny’s table, requiring him to kill an animal. Coming from a family with a deep love for animals, this was a task that he simply could not do. He repeated, “Sir, I can’t do that.” The Science Master, unhesitatingly, sent him off to the principal’s office, with a note that said simply “Six of the best!”

“Six of the best” meant six strikes on one hand with a cane. Corporal punishment was very common for schoolboys in those days – in the 1950’s. The principal recognized him and asked, “Aren’t you the one who pulled the two boys out of the bus a few weeks ago?”

During their conversation, the young Chinny attempted to make the point that biology is the study of life, and that it wasn’t logical to study life by killing an animal. This point though didn’t seem to resonate very much.

The principal did not cane him; however, he did say firmly, about killing and dissecting the frog “You have to do it. I don’t think you can continue in this school if you refuse.”

Out the door

For refusing to harm the frog, Chinny was expelled from school, although he was allowed to complete the school year before leaving.

The reason he was allowed to stay until the end of the year was that if he had been expelled halfway through the year, he would not have been admitted to any other school that year, and that would have had lasting repercussions for his entire future. As a student in the eleventh grade, the next year he would be in the twelfth grade. His attendance at school would have had a bearing on which university he could attend – and on all his future prospects in life.

Chinny and his older brother, Suresh, who was also a brilliant student, were the only two boys in the school who were vegetarians and who did not eat meat. It was known that their family cared about animals.

St Joseph’s was a boarding school in Bangalore, India. Chinny’s parents lived in the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu, with his younger sister. His mother had spent a great deal of time and effort getting him into that school, which was an excellent school, and she was really devastated by what had happened. It was hard to talk on the phone in India in those days, so they exchanged letters. Clearly, she was profoundly upset and very worried about her son’s future.

Chinny knew of another school called Clarence High School. So, he took it upon himself to speak with the principal there and explain the situation. The principal at that school was from Australia and had been a lifeguard there. He did not seem too bothered by the frog incident. He pointed out to Chinny that, if he were admitted to Clarence High School, he would still lose six marks, which would be subtracted from his grade. Chinny was fine with that. He joined the school.

A bright future despite a rocky start

The young Chinny’s future life was, in fact, spectacularly successful. After high school, he spent five years in the U.S., first attending a university and then working as a research scientist. He then returned to India and started a highly successful company that created a global business, Aspick Engineering, which has among its many remarkable projects, manufactured some of the parts used in India’s satellites.

The young Chinny also succeeded his father, Captain Sundaram, as the head of Blue Cross of India, which was the first and remains the largest and best known of the thousands of modern animal rescue groups that are active in India today.

Dr. Chinny Krishna, along with a few others, has been instrumental in the passage of India’s very enlightened animal welfare laws and regulations. He is a dynamic force in the worldwide animal welfare movement.

Finally banning dissection

In 1998, thanks in large measure to the hard work fought over many decades by Dr. Chinny Krishna against experimentation on animals, dissection was finally banned in all schools in India below university level. The first step, in 1996, had been to make dissection optional for the students, then, finally, in 1998, dissection was finally banned for good.

Dr. Chinny Krishna also created the computer program Compu-frog – and other programs featuring animals commonly used in dissection. These inventive programs enabled students to learn all the information required – through computer images alone — without any real animals being killed or dissected.

Continued in Part Two….

Sixty years later…

The fight to ban killing and dissecting animals in schools was just one aspect of much progress in protecting animals in India; especially dogs and cats, but also cows, horses, dolphins, circus animals, birds, and wildlife.

For his outstanding contribution to animal welfare over many decades, Dr. Chinny Krishna was recently given the prestigious Prani Mitra award, as well as the Winsome Constance Kindness Trust Award.

When he was awarded the Prani Mitra Award, his old school, St Joseph’s, honored him with the very special OBA Life Time Achievement Award. Remarkably, this was the same school that had once expelled him – over sixty years before.

India’s reverence for animals has been a theme throughout thousands of years of history. India has a long history of kindness and reverence for the world of nature and for animals. The efforts and vision of Chinny Krishna and others have served to ensure that this fundamental heritage of kindness remains firmly at the center of India’s laws and regulations.

The school that had expelled him for refusing to kill a frog took this opportunity to honor his life and accomplishments.

As part of the ceremony, in a beautifully written testimony, St Joseph’s school recounted a number of Dr. Chinny Krishna’s life achievements.

Here are just a few paragraphs from the citation. (They have been edited for length):

“At a time when television was a rarity even in urban India, your company Aspick Engineering participated in setting up TV sets for community viewing in schools and Panchayat centers in 2,400 villages in six States: Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan. The life of the dish was supposed to be 15 years but, remarkably, 45 years later, they are still in use…

You campaigned to have dissection banned in schools and colleges. Dissection is now banned all over India in all schools below the university level.

In 1964 you pioneered the first population management anti-rabies program for street dogs in the world, called Animal Birth Control – Anti Rabies, or ABC-AR in short. This was the world’s first – and longest continuing — street dog spay/neuter program – it continues through today. The ABC program is the national policy of India – and an example for many nations.

You served as Vice Chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) from 2000 to 2016… You were a Member of CPCSEA (Committee for the Purpose of Control of Scientific Experiments on Animals) from 1996 to 2002 and later from 2010 to 2017… Even today, you continue to serve as Chairman Emeritus, Blue Cross of India, and Chairman Emeritus, Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organization (FIAPO).

Dr. Chinny Krishna, you are a true exemplar of the spirit… of St. Joseph’s Boys’ High School.

May your benevolent presence continue to cast a protective shadow over animals in India for many more years to come, keeping them safe from abuse and ensuring that they live life on their terms.”

In his lifelong dedication to animals, the boy who wouldn’t kill a frog – Dr. Chinny Krishna – continues to be a powerful voice and a presence for the protection of India’s animals and an inspiration to all of us, around the world, who seek peace, blessings, and well-being for all animals.

By Sharon St Joan

Horse Rescue

Horse Rescue flyer

Another bonnet macaque - from south India.

The town of Harohalli is a 40 minute drive southeast of Bangaluru in south India. On May 10, 2023, a kind person took the time to stop and rescue a bonnet macaque there who was having trouble and clearly wasn’t doing well. She was brought to the WRRC (Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre) in Bangaluru, adjacent to the Bannergatta Forest.

There was an uncomfortable swelling on one side of her abdomen. She wasn’t just simply an overweight macaque because the swelling was only on one side. It looked to Dr. Roopa Satish like it might be an intestinal hernia.

At the nearby Zoo hospital at the Bannerghatta Biological Park, Dr. Umashankar and Dr. Vijay took an x-ray and were able to confirm that diagnosis.

Surgery and recovery

The following day, back at the WRRC Clinic, Dr. Roopa and Dr. Nirupama performed surgery, using general anesthesia, to correct the hernia.

All went as planned, the wound healed well, and there were no post-operative complications.

Of course, macaques love fruit and she was kept on a half diet of soft food like banana, papaya, and cucumber. Each day she got better and regained more of her strength.

In just 15 days she was back to feeling fine again, and as macaques tend to do, she removed her own sutures. On June 21, she’ll be taken back home to where she was found in Harohalli to rejoin her family and friends.

Good to go

Thanks to her kind rescuer and the skilled surgical intervention at the WRRC, she’ll be able to live a happy life now, active in the wild and free from pain.

Her condition had been serious. Initially, she may have suffered from a bite or trauma which tore the abdominal muscles, causing significant internal damage. If it hadn’t been corrected, as she grew older, she would have been very susceptible to serious intestinal problems that would only get worse with time. Now she is healed and can live a normal happy life of 20 to 25 years.

Bonnet macaques are native to south India. They are named for the distinct bonnet of fur on the top of their heads.

Dr. Roopa writes, ”We are glad to send her home in 41 days after a major abdominal surgery.”

Congratulations to Dr. Roopa, Dr. Nirupama, and all at the WRRC!


You can help monkeys like this and other wild animals at the WRRC with your donation. Thank you for caring!


By Sharon st Joan

© Forest Voices of India, 2023


Hulimavu, an area of southern Bangaluru, a city in the south of India, features luxury shopping, restaurants, and upscale homes.

A sacred site, the Hulimavu Cave Temple, is also located there. Inside a single giant rock, clean, elegant passageways extend though the cave and lead to areas of worship for three deities: Shiva; Devi, the Goddess; and Ganesha. The temple has been declared to be a 2,000 year old single rock cave.

India, of course, is filled with many thousands of extremely ancient sites.


Two baby birds

On the evening of June 1st, 2023, two small young baby birds (who, as far as we know, knew nothing of the ancient history of their region) unfortunately took a tumble and fell from a significant height on to the grass below their nest.

Two kind residents of Hulimavu came across them, but, at first, the people were not quite sure what to do to help them. Early the next morning, they thought of bringing them to the WRRC (the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre), and they rushed them there as soon as they could.

Dr. Roopa Satish examined the little birds on arrival, judging them to be about a month old. She found no external injuries; however, internal injuries could not be ruled out because they had fallen from a significant height.


Breakfast helps a lot

They were definitely hungry, and the two were fed banana and papaya, which they eagerly gobbled up. Soon they were eating on their own and making happy sounds. White-cheeked barbets make an energetic, repetitive call, which when they are grown up, resounds through the forest.

They live especially in this area of southern India, in the tall forests. Their main range is along the mountains of the Western Ghats. These birds rarely leave the trees, and they obtain most of the water they need from eating fruit.

Within two weeks the little birds were moved into a large aviary to practice their flying skills. It’s important that they have adequate space to practice so that they become strong fliers.

They flew well naturally and started flying with ease almost immediately.


Oops! Back to freedom, one way or another

As can sometimes happen with lively, active birds, one of them escaped when the keeper came in to put down their feed. They could see the escapee hanging around, almost daring his companion to escape as well.

Dr. Roopa writes, “Sure enough, in two days the lonesome twin in the aviary used the same old trick and escaped between the legs of the keeper who by now knew the shenanigans of the barbet.

This escape flight between a human’s legs is a very daring act for a shy timid bird like the barbet. The fact that both the twins managed it successfully fills us with pride for their skill and bravery.”

Soon, these brave birds will find their way out of the large area of the WRRC (where hundreds of birds and animals are cared for). They will fly into the large, deep Bannerghatta Forest, which is adjacent to the WRRC, where they can expect to lead their wild lives in freedom, eating fruit and singing their enchanting, happy notes for many years to come.


Photo Credit: WRRC Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, Bangaluru, India

© Copyright, Forest Voices of India, 2023

It was a warm, windy day as Varaprasad walked along in the Jigani area near the Bannerghatta Forest. It is an industrial area dotted with occasional acres of grass and a sprinkling of trees. Looking down for no particular reason, he suddenly spotted movement in the grass. There, he was startled to see a baby bird in among the blades of grass.

The baby bird must have fallen out of its nest. He picked up the chick very carefully and looked up to see if he might see the nest in a tree. Unfortunately, the branches were very high up, and there would be no way to put the baby back in its nest even if he could find the nest. The baby seemed weak and exhausted, but not visibly injured.

Holding the bird very carefully, Varaprasad turned around to head straight for the large, enclosed area which is the wildlife rehabilitation center, where thousands of birds and other animals are rehabilitated every year. He is a local wildlife rescuer and has often brought injured or distressed wildlife to the WRRC (Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre).

Inside the Clinic, Dr. Roopa Satish examined the little bird. The young shikra chick weighed 125 grams. There were no visible external injuries. However, Dr. Roopa suspected internal injuries because of the height that the bird must have fallen, and because she was quite weak.

She was able to eat though, and eagerly gobbled down some food which she was handfed. She was very small and still had fluffy down feathers. Every few hours she was fed and had a ravenous appetite.

In a span of just three weeks, she transformed into a grown-up shikra looking very beautiful in adult plumage. If there had been any internal injuries, they had healed and she was feeling strong and alert.

By a happy coincidence, the WRRC, has, at the same time, another young shikra, around the same age, who will be put into an aviary with her. The two will be good companions and will be able to practice flying together, becoming stronger day by day – and getting ready for release back to the wild.

Because they have each other — and their human caregivers are very careful to respect them as wild birds and not interact with them, they will remain wild, will not become tame, and will be able to take up their lives again living free among the trees in the Bannerghatta Forest.

Shikras are accipiters – small hawks distantly related to sparrow hawks. They fly fast and are agile hunters. These are native to India and similar shikras are also found in Africa. They are beautiful, graceful birds – very lively, yet small enough to fly among the tree branches.

By Sharon St Joan


If you’d like to help these little birds and support charities in India that help the natural world, your donation will go a long way and will be much appreciated! Donations to Forest Voices of India, a 501 C 3 organization – go to help four charities in India.

© Copyright, Forest Voices of India, 2023

Photo Credit:, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons. The photo is of another shikra – from Bangaluru, India.

Kumaon Hills, Uttarakhand

Bird of the Day: Crimson Sunbird — Organikos

The Indian spectacled cobra is among the most common snakes in India. In the area of Nisarga, near the Bannerghatta Forest in Karnataka, south India, one of these was found injured on June 6.

On arrival she weighed one kilo (2.2pounds) and had a severe wound to her intestines. Though no one saw how she was hurt, it looked like the kind of accident that could have been caused by an excavation machine doing construction work. She might have been underground when it happened, so the machine operator would not have seen her.

When she was brought to the WRRC (Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre) in the Bannerghatta Forest, she wasn’t in very good shape. Dr. Roopa Satish first gave her shots for the pain, to prevent infection, and to stop the bleeding. Then the intestinal wound, which was muddy, had to be rinsed with a saline and antimicrobial solution.

The intestines had to be put back in properly, and then the tear on the skin repaired. A firm bandage was put on the snake. All this was quite exhausting for the snake, and she was placed in a clean vivarium with a heating pad where she could rest and recover in quiet place.

The cobra’s recovery

Because the wound was so serious and the intestines had to be given time to heal, the cobra couldn’t be fed for a while. She was kept on pain killers and strong broad-spectrum antibiotics and given fluids under the skin.

Two days after the surgery, she was beginning to look a bit livelier – even displaying her hood – which was a wonderful, encouraging sign.

Three weeks after the surgery, the wound was healing well, and the cobra is now on her way back to good health. It was an extensive surgery, and it’s good that she’s recovering so well and is on her way to being released.

She’ll still have to wait for one or two sheddings, which could take from one to three months before she can go back to the forest.

Then she’ll be able to resume her life back in the wild, happy to be well and free again – thanks to the skill of the doctors and the excellent care she was given by the WRRC.


By Sharon St Joan

The photo is of another cobra. Photo credit: Kamalnv, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

© Copyright, Forest Voices of India, 2023

By Sriya Narayana

“Take a cloth bag when you go shopping,” say young children to their parents, as they keep a watchful eye on their enviable surroundings. The youth of Madhugiri Educational District in Tumkur, Karnataka, South India, have the privilege of growing up in the lap of nature surrounded by endless green hills, under a rare blanket of sky where sparkling stars are still visible. The satellite city of Bengaluru (which is around 70 km [44 miles] away from the district) was observed to be at risk of increased plastic pollution when CPR Environmental Education Centre (CPREEC), the Pollution Control Board, and the Educational Department linked hands in 2020 to safeguard the region.

“We had to postpone this program due to the pandemic, though we still managed to conduct training online,” says Ravishankar, Project Officer at CPREEC. He reveals how young boys and girls who went through the training started taking their own bags when they went shopping, steered clear of snack brands that came encased in glossy plastic, and displayed a remarkable curiosity and enthusiasm for the educational material that CPREEC provides. “Rural students take this seriously,” says Ravishankar, noting how those who are accustomed to living in nature’s beauty are fiercely protective of it.

The start of the campaign

CPREEC kicked off their on-the-ground campaign in the years 2021-22 when pandemic restrictions eased, visiting as many as 800 schools and training 120 teachers on the ill-effects of plastic and practical ways to avoid them. “We broadcast 3D films on biodiversity, water and waste management, distributed posters, and did demonstrations with local authorities,” he says, adding that the life cycle of plastic – the manner in which it inevitably returns to us through our food, water and air – was a point of focus, as was the effect on cows being vulnerable to plastic inhalation. Schools in the area also performed street plays about the subject, while plastic waste segregation began to become the norm in several institutions. “We could see the before-after effect in three months,” reports Ravishankar, who is accustomed to waiting much longer for results.

On October 2, on Gandhi Jayanthi (Ghandi’s birthday), he had the opportunity to be in the audience for a change, witnessing a celebration where a retiring schoolteacher chose not to do the typical confetti and platitudes, but instead give a meaningful message to the next generation – about using cloth instead of plastic. “Mrs. Mahalakshmi from Government High School distributed a hundred cloth bags on the occasion instead of holding a party with the students,” he says of the event that was covered in local newspapers. Ravishankar speaks of the unwavering support of government employees who chip in, not for the limelight – of which there is none, but because they care deeply about the issue and want to spread the seeds as far as they can. “K. G. Rangaiah, Deputy Director of Public Instruction and T. A. Narendrakumar, Deputy Project Coordinator of Madhugiri Educational District wanted to take this program to five more talukas (districts),” he says. “And recently, the Science Teachers Association in the region called to say they can see the impact for themselves and that they want to continue the program.”

Where there are children…

Ravishankar’s trademark perseverance is rooted in the belief that where there are children, there is hope. Every day, he sees evidence of how one is never too young to nurture the magnificent environment which will someday be their legacy.

How you can help

By donating to Forest Voices of India, you’ll be supporting this work of engaging a generation of children in India in this work of protecting nature and declining to use plastic. Donations go to support charities in India. Thank you!

Kumaon Hills, Uttarakhand

Bird of the Day: Blue-winged Minla — Organikos