Odishatv Bureau

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. 

Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Ashok Behera said, “The big cat might have entered Gajapati from bordering areas of Andhra Pradesh and preyed on a cow from Analabara village.” 

“The forest department officials found the pugmarks of the tiger and also recovered the carcass of the cow. In order to confirm the presence of the tiger, we installed five trap cameras in the area and the cameras captured the photographs of the predator,” he added.

“After having the visuals of the Royal Bengal Tiger, we deployed five teams consisting of 35 members to alert people living in the bordering areas and instruct them not to step out of their homes at night. The teams also advised the villagers to properly tie their cattle to save them from the predator,” Behera further said.

Last month, a Royal Bengal Tiger was spotted in Mahendragiri forest of Gajapati district that has strayed from the jungles of the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. 

The villagers of Santoshpur near Gandahati under Mahendragiri forest range had reported to the Forest department that the tiger killed two cows in as many nights in their village.

The recent tiger census conducted by the Central Government stated that the number of tigers has dipped in Odisha. 
According to the census, the number of tigers in the state dropped from 28 to 20 between 2018 and 2022. 
The recent spotting of tigers in different jungles of Odisha might add a boon to the census report of the state.