Four melanistic tigers spotted second time in Odisha forest

Bhubaneswar: Barely three days after Odisha reported its first black panther of big cat species in the forest of Sundergarh district, the wildlife lovers will be flooded with joy with another good news that four melanistic tigers were spotted in Similipal forest.

The footages of melanistic tigers were captured by the camera installed at Similipal forest, informed Forest & Environment Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra here on Thursday.

It is for the second time, Odisha reported the presence of melanistic tigers (with thick and darker stripes) in Similipal forest after 2007.

Odisha is the only state to have melanistic tigers, which are rarely found in the world. The melanistic tiger was first reported in Similipal in the year 1993. The first photographic evidence about presence of the melanistic tiger was captured in 2007.

There are 15 normal tigers, seven white tigers and three melanistic tigers at Nandankanan Zoological Park situated on outskirts of Bhubaneswar.

Recently, Odisha added a record to its research by capturing the first photograph of a black panther or melanistic leopard at Garjanpahad Reserve Forest of Hemagiri range of Sundergarh forest division.

Odisha government has taken initiatives to bring tigers from Madhya Pradesh to Satakosia forest soon, Mohapatra said.

Besides, the locals residing at various sanctuaries have been relocated to other locations. Total 231 families of five villages in three major sanctuaries have been shifted to other places in the past two years, he said.

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