Tigress ‘Sundari’ to stay in Satkosia: WII Researcher

Bhubaneswar: Amid massive protest by the locals demanding relocation of tigress ‘Sundari’ after she allegedly killed a woman in Satkosia Tiger reserve (STR) area, Wildlife Institute of India (WII) researcher Dr Ramesh, after monitoring the situation at Satkosia, cleared the air saying Sundari will not be taken back to Bandhavgarh.

In an exclusive interview to OTV, Dr Ramesh informed, “The incident was very unfortunate and the reaction of the locals is also natural. Due to one such unexpected incident and on these grounds, the tigress cannot be relocated. However, the faults due to which the incident took place will be rectified and we are making plans accordingly.”

He further said, “There is no question of the animal being taken back to Bandhavgarh. The relocation project is a larger vision and only after reviewing all its positive and negative aspects, the tigress was brought here. Tiger Relocation is a planned project which is why it’s difficult to change the decision.”

Earlier on Sunday, a team of WII led by Dr Ramesh conducted a review on the movement of the tigress and its habitation in Athagarh forest division, where the animal is roaming around at present.

Dr Ramesh also said, “The animal is trying to adapt itself to the new condition and therefore it is coming out of the forest repeatedly. It will be relocated to the core area of the reserve, away from human habitation area.”

“Taking a review of the past history of the tigress and its behaviour now, it was revealed that the animal would not have killed the woman. We are monitoring the movement of the tigress and also involving locals to create an awareness to face such man-animal conflict situation, if any,” he further said.

Meanwhile, another team visited Hatibari village under Tikarpada Forest Range in Satkosia forest where the woman was allegedly attacked by Sundari on September 13.

The team held discussions with the locals to gather evidence on the alleged attack. The officials also took stock of the situation at the forest range office and the beat house which were reportedly torched by the irate locals.