Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Royal Bengal Tiger (RBT) recently spotted roaming in Odisha and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh has travelled nearly 750 km from Maharashtra to reach Gajapati district in Odisha, informed the forest department.

While the wildlife experts are surprised to see a tiger travelling so much, they said it must be in search of a safe habitat and mate.

Asked about the RBT, Odisha Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Sushant Nanda said, “The Wildlife Institute of India has the databases, stripes of all the tigers trapped in our cameras. Like our fingerprints, the stripes on a tiger’s body are unique too.”

“When we captured the tiger in our cameras in Odisha, we sent the pictures of the stripes to the Wildlife Institute of India for identification. They identified this tiger as the first camera-trapped at Brahmapuri forest division under Maharashtra’s Chandrapur in 2021. Though the feline has traversed 750km now, it has crossed many more distance before, as suggested by its pictures,” Nanda said.

“It is a good sign for us that the tiger population is increasing and they are migrating to where they can find more food,” he added.

The forest department on Wednesday confirmed the presence of a Royal Bengal Tiger in Rayagada block of Gajapati district bordering Andhra Pradesh after the movement of the big cat was captured by trap cameras.

As per reports, the forest department officials found the pugmarks of the tiger and also recovered the carcass of a cow. In order to confirm the presence of the tiger, they installed five trap cameras in the area and the cameras captured the photographs of the predator.

Though the tiger is known for preying on deer and wild boar, it is now preying on livestock. However, it has reportedly not shown any aggression towards humans though it is moving in a landscape dominated by humans.