Gooleppa is from Bhatralli in Chitradurga district of Karnataka. He was earning his living by working as a wage laborer. In 1994 there was a plantation by forest department in 125 acres. He started protecting the plantation. Wild bores and bears attacked him while patrolling the jungle. He saved the young trees by watering them from jungle springs in summer. In 20 years he has converted a wasteland into a lush green forest.