Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Tigers are highly territorial and move around through dense jungles. In a recent bone-chilling incident, a Royal Bengal Tiger and some villagers were found treading the same path inside the Similipal Tiger Reserve in Mayurbhanj district.

The Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) Susanta Nanda posted the pictures of the incident on his social media account X (earlier known as Twitter) on Wednesday. The pictures were taken by a trap camera installed inside the tiger reserve.

“Tiger & the villagers using the same path inside STR, with few minutes in between. This peaceful coexistence is the future of our Tiger Reserves,” tweeted Nanda along with pictures of a Royal Bengal Tiger and some villagers.

As per sources, a Royal Bengal Tiger was found moving in the core area of the reserve. A few minutes later, some villagers in the area including a little girl were seen walking along the same path used by the tiger. The incident has baffled forest officials and animal lovers across Odisha.

The tweet by Nanda has reportedly gone viral within no time. Several netizens have flooded the comment box with interesting comments.

In response to the post, a netizen wrote, “Unbelievable....” 

“Peace is when we both don’t enter each other’s territory,” tweeted another fan. 

A third user commented, “Peaceful existence can turn pretty ugly quite quickly. Human pressure inside their territory poses risks to both wildlife and humans. We should clearly define some boundaries even if it requires creating permanent buffers.” 

Odisha’s Similipal has been counted among the top 12 reserves of the country in terms of management effectiveness evaluation (MEE) securing 11th position with a 90.15% score in 2023. It was a huge jump as in 2018, its MEE score was 72.66%. In the 2022 assessment, it was adjudged excellent.