Sundari’s presence gives sleepless nights to Satkosia locals

Angul: Residents of Hatibari and nearby villages in Satkosia of Angul district have been spending sleepless nights due to the movement of Royal Bengal tigress ‘Sundari’ close to the human settlement.

Locals in the area are a worried lot and have demanded immediate shifting of Sundari from Satkosia area after the tigress allegedly killed a cow at Lehedi village two days back.

“After tigress Sundari killed my cattle, the villagers have been living in constant fear. They are unable to even move freely outside and look after their farmlands,” said Sushma Sahu, whose cattle was allegedly killed by the wild cat.

Echoing similar views, another resident of Hatibari Puspa Gadatia stated, “How will we live here with family? We are terribly frightened following the incident.”

The people here further alleged that the Forest department personnel are not keeping track of the tigress which is why it is venturing into the human habitation frequently.

“It becomes difficult for us to move outside due to ‘Sundari’ and therefore, we demand immediate shifting of the tigress. Staff of the Forest department have also failed to keep a vigil on ‘Sundari’,” alleged Raghu Gadatia, a local resident.

On the other hand, Satkosia Wildlife Division DFO, V Kartik said the tigress is being monitored round the clock. “When Sundari roams in fringe forests close to the village, additional range officers from Satkosia, Purunakote, and Tikarpada rush to the area to keep a track of the animal. Around 40 to 50 people are present in the tracking team. Forest department is concerned about the safety of villagers and people should not be afraid in any which way.”

Kartik further claimed that compensation has been given to the person whose cattle was killed by the tigress.

In another incident on September 13, a woman was allegedly killed by Sundari at Hatibari village under Tikarpada Forest Range which had led to resentment among the locals.

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