After failed attempt, tranquillising team hopeful to capture tigress ‘Sundari’ soon

Angul: All eyes are now on the six-member team that has been roped in to tranquillise tigress Sundari, which has unleashed terror among inhabitants close to Satkosia Tiger Reserve (STR) in Angul district.

Though a massive operation was undertaken by the tranquillising team today, tigress Sundari, which has now been branded a ‘man-eater,’ managed to give a slip near Kumuri village.

“One of our teams spotted the tigress, but could not take a shot,” said a member of the tranquillising team.

The team members said as the place is completely bushy, it is creating problems in taking a shot at the tigress.

After the failed attempt, the tranquillising team has begun the second-phase operation to capture the tigress tonight. Using GPS systems, the team has launched another attempt to tranquillise Sundari.

The movement of tigress Sundari near Kumuri village had triggered panic among the local residents last night. The villagers were seen guarding the area with fire torches throughout the night yesterday. Even most of the people kept their doors and windows shut in fear throughout the day today.

“We are in a state of fear and forced to stay indoors as the tigress is yet to be captured,” said a local resident.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Sandeep Tripathy today informed that once the tigress is tranquillised and captured, it will be shifted to the special protected enclosure at Raiguda.

“We will first capture the tigress and shift it to Raiguda. Subsequent steps will be taken based on the recommendations of NTCA and WII officials,” said Tripathy.

Many wildlife experts have observed a deviation in the behaviour of Sundari as the tigress is reluctant to stay in the wild. Moreover, as it is not feeding properly on its ‘prey’, it is attacking animals and human beings at regular intervals.

The experts have opined to shift the tigress either to a closed environment like at Nandankanan Zoological Park in Bhubaneswar or transfer it back to Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh from where Sundari was brought to Odisha as a part of the ambitious Inter-state Tiger Translocation Project.

Already protests have intensified demanding immediate shifting of tigress Sundari after it allegedly killed two persons and a bullock in Satkosia Tiger Reserve.