Gunupur: A video has been making the rounds on different social media platforms, which claims that a Royal Bengal tiger was spotted 2-3 days ago in a forest at Gunupur of Odisha’s Rayagada district. The Forest department today confirmed the presence of the big cat in Srikakulam areas of Andhra.
“We have no confirmation about the video. But, as is ascertained, the animal is moving in Srikakulam areas of Andhra Pradesh (AP) bordering Gunupur area of Rayagada forest division. It was reportedly 8-10 kilometres inside AP from interstate border yesterday. And, today, it has further moved inside AP,” a senior Odisha official of the division asserted.
“Since movement of tigers in the past days has also been observed across border, particularity near Lamataput of Koraput district few months ago, the present movement is not unusual for the animal to be around the border,” the senior forest official clarified.
As a precaution and by keeping watch, arrangements are being done to deploy the protection squad besides installing camera traps to monitor the movement. Even awareness generation has also been instructed to be done in the bordering areas of Odisha, the forest official informed.
“Acting on the direction of our DFO, we extensively moved in Bhamini and Kotturu forest areas of our district and spotted some pug marks of a tiger. During the verification drive, it was ascertained that the tiger has been roaming in an area of nearly 40 square kilometers. Most of the pug marks resembled each other, which was confirmed after scientific scrutiny of the collected pug marks. Based on the findings, it can be said that there is the presence of a Royal Bengal tiger,” Palakonda forest ranger in Srikakulam district Pradeep Anukonda stated.
Local farmers are being alerted about the presence of the Royal Bengal tiger keeping in view the ongoing Kharif crop season, Palakonda forest ranger added.