Sanjeev Kumar Pradhan

Angul: The Royal Bengal tigress, Sundari which is currently kept in a special enclosure in Raiguda inside Satkosia Tiger Reserve will soon be released into the wild.

According to sources, after 2 months since the tigress has been kept in the enclosure, the Forest department has initiated the process to release the big cat into the wild once again.

According to sources, Kumki (trained) elephants including Yashoda will be engaged to keep an eye on Sundari after it is released into Satkosia forest. Yashoda and other elephants will be brought to Satkosia from Chandaka forest to assist in the release of Sundari.

The tigress has been kept in a special enclosure after tranquilisation since November 2018.

Meanwhile, questions have been raised on why the tigress has been kept inside an enclosure for so many days citing that it will affect the wild animal’s natural instincts.

Moreover, the National Tiger Conservation Authority had also raised questions on the role of the Odisha Forest department in addressing the issue.

The Chief Wildlife Warden Sandeep Tripathy had clarified that NTPC guidelines have been followed and soon Sundari will be released into the forest.

Sundari, which was brought from the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh in June 2018, was released into the Satkosia Tiger Reserve in August as a part of the inter-state tiger translocation project.

But after protests following allegations that the tigress killed two persons and a bullock in separate incidents in Baghamunda and Tainsi villages inside the tiger reserve area in October last year, the State government had decided to capture the big cat and release it in the Nandankanan Zoo.