Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: As it slowly starts to acclimatise to its new home with its vital parameters in good shape, the Royal Bengal tiger which was brought from Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh last month was released into the wild in Satkosia Tiger Reserve today.

Forest and Environment Department Additional Chief Secretary Suresh Mohapatra, PCCF Wildlife Dr. Sandeep Tripathi, Additional PCCF, DFOs of Satkosia and Angul and other forest officials were present during the release of the tiger.

The tiger which is nearly 3 years old and one of the best specimens of Kanha Tiger Reserve was brought to the Satkosia forests as a part of world’s first inter-State and longest tiger relocation exercise which took almost 24 hours on June 21.

A joint team of forest officials from Madhya Pradesh and Odisha along with staff from the National Tiger Conservation Authority accompanied the tiger during the relocation programme.

Senior forest officials, animal researchers from Wildlife Institute of India and expert veterinarians closely monitored the movements of the big cat which was since kept in a special closed enclosure in Satkosia.

With the tiger now set free, a special team will regularly track the big cat through radio frequency signals and satellite round the clock.

Meanwhile, another 2-year-old tigress which was relocated from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in MP a week later on June 28 is waiting to be paired with the tiger from Kanha as she is still kept under observation inside a special enclosure. The tigress will be released into the wild subsequently, said sources.

The Satkosia Tiger Reserve will receive four more tigers from Madhya Pradesh in phases.

It is pertinent to note that the relocation of the big cats is part of the State government’s efforts to revive tiger population in the protected forests of Satkosia. Earlier, the 963 sq-km reserve had two tigers, both over the age of 13, sources said.