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Odisha urges NTCA to decide future of tigress ‘Sundari’

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Forest Department on Monday wrote to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), urging it to take immediate decision on the fate of Tigress ‘Sundari’ which has been kept in an enclosure in Odisha after it killed two persons in Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary.

Informing this, Odisha Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) Wildlife Hari Shankar Upadhyay said the NTCA has been urged to clarify whether the tigress will be staying in Odisha or it would go back to its place of origin.

“If the tigress doesn’t go back to its native, a decision on its future will be taken jointly by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), NTCA and Odisha Forest Department,” he added.

Sources said, the NTCA had written to the MP Forest Department in December last year, asking it to bring back the tigress to its original habitat. But the government of MP has kept sitting on its order.

On the other hand, Red Lynx Confederation, an NGO fighting for wildlife conservation and animals’ rights has filed a PIL in Madhya Pradesh High Court regarding the current status of the project and condition of the tigress. The Court has directed the Odisha Forest department to produce a report on the condition of Sundari. Accordingly, the Divisional Forest Officer, Angul is scheduled to appear before the MP High Court next week.

‘Sundaari’ was translocated from Bhandhvgarh tiger reserve of Madhya Pradesh to Odisha in 2018 under inter-state tiger translocation programme. The big cat was released into the Satkosia sanctuary in Angul district. But, later it was lodged in an enclosure after the animal killed a man and a woman living inside the reserve in September, 2018. The incident had triggered massive violence when a group of locals set ablaze a forest beat office.

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