Hey there, I’m Dhanush Shetty, fondly also known as Dhanush C S. I was born in the quaint town of Hassan and grew up in the serene village of Chinakurali, nestled close to the Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary in Mandya (near Mysore), Karnataka, India.
I’m interested in studying the behaviour and ecology of wild elephants in the human-dominated landscapes of South Indian landscapes.
I underwent the Ram Hattikudur Advanced Training for Conservation (RHATC) at the acclaimed Zoo Outreach Organisation in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu. Additionally, working as a consultant for Humane Society International & The Liana Trust on a part-time basis during the same time.
I previously worked as a research intern at Rainforest Connection (RFCx) in their collaborative Elephant acoustic project. GIZ’s Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation Project. I hold a master’s degree in Wildlife and Management and a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Biotechnology. During my Master’s program, I had the opportunity to work on Elephants of the coffee land: “Human-elephant conflict in coffee-based agroforestry systems of Chikmagalur, Western Ghats, India.” This project was funded by Vision group on Science and Technology, Government of Karnataka, India.
My inquisitiveness for the enigmatic natural world is unceasing, and my passion for working alongside those who devote their lives to the protection of endangered species, whether they be diminutive aerial mammals such as bats, or gargantuan beasts such as elephants, is a driving force behind my work. Birding, herping, and the art of origami captivate me, as does the exploration of the intersections between advanced science and ancient mythology, and the decipherment of inscriptions etched into stone. A cup of coffee, the mellifluous strains of Carnatic music, and the captivating narratives of mythological lore are my solaces. I find myself drawn to comics, and the collecting of commemorative coins and postage stamps is a source of personal delight. In the precious moments of leisure afforded to me, I engage in the creation of wildlife illustrations, the development of code, and the construction of maps.
Born in the verdant Southern Western Ghats and raised in the sprawling Deccan Plateau, my curiosity has always been piqued by the enigmatic allure of nature. The desire to work with people who share my passion for preserving endangered species, particularly the majestic elephant, has been a lifelong aspiration. From a tender age, I have been captivated by these gentle giants during annual Dasara processions in Mysuru, as well as through visits to zoological parks and temple precincts. My fondest memories are of summer vacations spent with my grandparents in the human-elephant conflict-prone district of Hassan.
As a result of these early encounters, I am driven to examine the root causes of human-elephant conflict and to develop sustainable, comprehensive mitigation measures that will facilitate peaceful coexistence between humans and elephants on the same land.