Amid public outrage, tigress Sundari’s stay at Satkosia under review

Angul: Amid public unrest in Satkosia Tiger Reserve area following death of a woman of Hatibari village allegedly in an attack by recently-released tigress ‘Sundari’; the Odisha Forest department, in association with officials of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has launched a review after which a decision on the big cat’s relocation will be taken.

Officials of the WII, NTCA and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau will conduct an on-the-spot inquiry and submit a report following which the state government will take action, informed Sudarsan Panda, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF), today.

He further stated locals have been assured that an expert team will reach Satkosia by September 15 and action will be taken after reviewing the situation. “If required, the tigress will be relocated,” he said.

“However, because of an aberration or stray case, it is not right to jeopardise the tiger conservation project. The tiger supplementation programme will continue,” Panda stated.

As per latest reports, tigress ‘Sundari’ is roaming around in Athagarh forest division. “Two teams have been formed to monitor the tigress’ movements. Besides, 10 field officers and police have been deployed to keep track of Sundari,” he informed.

The male tiger Kanha, which was relocated from the Kanha National Park to Satkosia Tiger Reserve, is co-habiting with two other tigresses and maintaining its territory well, the additional PCCF said.

On September 13, mutilated body of a woman, identified as Kailashi Garnayak was found near Hatibari following which irate locals torched a forest range office, boats of forest department and a beat house. They also staged road blockade demanding relocation of the tigress.

}