Peaceful coexistence! Tiger, villagers spotted taking same road inside Odisha’s Similipal

Bhubaneswar: It may create flutter among many as a Royal Bengal Tiger (RBT) and a few villagers were spotted travelling on a stretch inside the core area of Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district recently.

The incident was ostensibly captured through a camera trap.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (wildlife) Susanta Nanda shared the pictures of tiger and human beings using the same forest road inside the STR in his social media handle a few days ago.

In the pictures, it is seen that the tiger and a few villagers, including a minor girl, travelled on the forest road inside Similipal within a gap of a few minutes.

“Tiger and the villagers using the same path inside STR, with few minutes in between. This peaceful coexistence is the future of our Tiger Reserves,” said the PCCF in a Twitter (X) post.

It is worth mentioning here that Similipal is famous for its melanistic or black tiger population.

The Centre also made it clear that melanistic or black tigers have been sighted only in Similipal.

“Melanistic tigers have been recorded only in Similipal Tiger Reserve in Odisha. As per the 2022 cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation, a total of 16 tigers were recorded in Similipal, out of which 10 were melanistic,” said Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ashwini Kumar Choubey in Rajya Sabha.

The minister made this revelation while replying to a query of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Prashanta Nanda during the last Winter Session of Parliament.

Based on genetic composition, the Similipal Tiger Reserve has been identified as a distinct genetic cluster for conservation, added the minister.

The state government has recently announced that an exclusive melanistic tiger safari will come up near Similipal.

The black tiger safari will come up on around 200 hectares of land near Similipal. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has given the required approval in this regard. The safari will be one-of-its-kind facility in the world, said the Forest department.

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