No decision to send back tigress Sundari: Odisha Min

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Friday said no decision has been taken to send back the Royal Bengal tigress ‘Sundari’ from Satkosia wildlife sanctuary to the Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh.

The tigress allegedly mauled a woman to death in the wildlife sanctuary in Angul district on Wednesday. The incident led to violence as the villagers demanded the relocation of the wild cat.

“We have informed the matter to Wildlife Institute of India (WII). Besides, we are waiting for the post-mortem report of the woman. We will abide by the decision of WII. But so far, no decision has been taken to relocate the tigress,” said Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray.

He said it is not yet ascertained whether the woman died after being attacked by the tigress.

“While the villagers claim the woman has been killed by the tigress, forest officials claimed that had it been a fact, the prey would have been taken away by the predator. No such signs of attack have been noticed on the body,” said the Minister.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Sandeep Tripathi said the department has not taken any decision to send back Sundari to Madhya Pradesh.

“No decision for shifting back of Sundari to Bandhavgarh has been taken. Further follow up action would only be taken after post-mortem and due appraisal by NTCA, Delhi, WII Dehradun teams,” said Tripathi.

Angry over the death, the local residents set afire the forest beat house at Hatibari and the forest department’s range office at Tikarpada.

They also torched five boats of the forest department on Wednesday night.

The 27-month-old Royal Bengal tigress was released into the Satkosia Tiger Reserve on August 17 to increase the population of the big cats in the sanctuary.


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