Tiger translocation: Odisha draws up plan to restore confidence of Satkosia residents

Angul/Bhubaneswar: Following protests by residents within the Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Angul district over relocation of tigress ‘Sundari’ and death of tiger ‘Mahavir’ in recent past, the State Forest department has chalked out plans to win back the confidence of locals.

As per reports, the department has planned to take villagers of Satkosia forest area to tiger reserve areas such as Periyar National Park in Kerala or any other tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh to make them aware about how humans and tigers are coexisting there.

“The coordinator of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) will ensure the visit of locals to MP or Kerala. How locals can be engaged and their income can be increased amid the presence of tigers will be studied. Besides, the visit will let residents of Satkosia to know how to coexist with the big cat,” said Sandeep Tripathy, Chief Wildlife Warden.

Sources said the effort is aimed at pacifying the resentment triggered after tigress Sundari’s relocation.

A joint team of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and WII will visit Satkosia and submit a detailed report to the State Forest department.

Tripathy said further steps will be taken after getting the report from the joint team.

Meanwhile, locals in Satkosia have welcomed the decision by the Forest department.

“With the visit to other states, people will know how human beings will be safe and tiger population can increase. We welcome the step,” said Tapan Dehuri, a local resident of Satkosia.

On the other hand, a workshop was held in Bhubaneswar by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) on issues like probe into crime against wildlife and scientific investigation techniques.

Among others, the officials of the Forest department, police, Customs, CISF and RPF attended the workshop.

“The aim is to bring expertise in daily activities and enhance scientific and professional investigation skills. To overcome legal obstacles, they should know investigation techniques and have better forensic knowledge,” said Abhijit Roy Chowdhury, regional deputy director, of the WCCB.