Tigress Sundari likely to be taken back to enclosure

Angul: Hours after tigress Sundari allegedly killed a man at Tainsi village in Angul that triggered protest in the area, process to shift the big cat back to the enclosure is likely to begin today.

The deceased Trinath Sahu had gone for fishing when the tigress allegedly attacked him leading to his death on the spot.

According to reports, a four-member team comprising of experts and doctors from Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), Nandankanan Zoological Park and gun assistants reached Angul yesterday night.

The team has been assigned the task of tranquilising and capturing the tigress so that it can be taken to the enclosure. The decision was taken after consultation with the researchers of Wildlife Institute of India (WII), sources said.

Following the alleged killing by the tigress, the enraged villagers reportedly thrashed and detained an Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) Srikant Behera, who had visited the village to take a stock of the situation yesterday.

On the other hand, tension prevailed near Kanjara Mundasahi area on the Angul-Sambalpur National Highway-55 on Sunday after the villagers torched a police vehicle and pelted stones at police and senior government officials demanding compensation for the kin of the victim and relocation of the tigress from the area.

Angul Sub Collector, Tehsildar and Angul Inspector-in-charge (IIC) were injured in the stone pelting by agitating villagers following which police had to resort to lathicharge and lobbing of teargas shells in order to disperse the crowd and bring the situation under control.

“The Assistant Collector has received injuries on the backside of his neck during the stone pelting by the locals. There were many people on the NH who were passing by the area with their vehicles. We suspected that the protesters might torch their vehicles too, so in order to avoid that the police resorted to lathicharge ,” Angul Collector Basudev Satpathy said.

Angul SP, Mitrabhanu Mohapatra, said,“Normalcy restored on the NH and the body of the man who died in the alleged attack of Sundari was sent for post-mortem to Angul. The situation is under control now and legal action will be taken against those who violated the law.”

Meanwhile, Athamalik MLA, Sanjeev Sahu said that he had requested the concerned authorities to shift the tigress from the area and keep it in the enclosure.

On September 12, Sundari had allegedly killed a woman at Hatibari village under Tikarpada Forest Range. Later, it was also claimed that the tigress killed a bull in the village.

Following protest, the forest department tried to chase away Sundari to the core area of Satkosia Tiger Reserve. However, the big cat herself moved into the core area of the jungle.