Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

A Royal Bengal Tiger was spotted in Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary in Bargarh . The Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) confirmed the same on Saturday from video footage that captured the tiger moving in the forest. 

As per reports, the tiger was spotted in the Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary located near Sambalpur’s Hirakud Dam. The tiger’s gender is male and it is of endangered species, as their count is very less, informed Anshu Pragyan Das, DFO, Hirakud Wildlife Division. 

The DFO expressed her delight as after several years a tiger was spotted in the sanctuary. The team even is trying to track if the tiger has any female partner or not. Security has been tightened around the sanctuary to restrict the entry of any unauthorised persons or poachers. 

“It was spotted while venturing near the safari zone of the sanctuary on Dec 1 and the video of the tiger was captured by the patrolling staff while it was crossing a road. This is the first time that a tiger has entered through the entry gate,” informed the DFO.

The DFO further ascertained that special safety arrangements are done to ensure the protection of the tiger. As informed by the DFO, 12 teams have been engaged to monitor the tiger. 

“Apart from engaging a special team for monitoring the tiger round the clock, GIS technicians have been engaged. A special patrolling team also are engaged outside the sanctuary carrying metal detectors. We are stressing on special intelligence network to track and restrict unauthorised entry into the sanctuary. Immediate action will be taken against any illegal activities, said the DFO.

Further, she added, “We are yet to ascertain if the tiger was previously present in the wildlife sanctuary or if it has come from Chhattisgarh. Last time, a royal Bengal tiger was spotted in Debrigarh in 2018. We will soon track the details if it ventured from any other landscape or it was present here.” 

Moreover, CCTVs have been installed in several places across the sanctuary to track the wild cat.

Notably, Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary sprawls across Bargarh, close to Hirakud Dam, as well as the neighbouring state. After 2018, not a single tiger was spotted in the dense forest. The forest department is on high alert as earlier poachers remained quite active in the area.

Reported by Sanjay Jena (Sambalpur)