Tigress Sundari will have to spend some more time in Odisha’s Satkosia tiger reserve.(HT Photo)
Tigress Sundari will have to spend some more time in Odisha’s Satkosia tiger reserve.(HT Photo)

Fears over safety stalls tigress’ return from Odisha to Madhya Pradesh

There are two tigers in the Ghorela tiger reserve where Sundari is scheduled to be released. Forest oficials have now decided that Sundari will be released into the new habitat in Ghorela only after the two tigers are shifted.
By Debabrata Mohanty | Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 05, 2020 11:41 PM IST

A 40-month-old tigress in Odisha’s Satkosia tiger reserve which was relocated from Madhya Pradesh and had to be sent back to that state will have to stay longer in her current location over fears for her safety, a top official said Wednesday.

Odisha chief wildlife warden, Hari Shankar Upadhyay told reporters that the process to shift tigress Sundari has been postponed for the time being as the existing tigers at the tiger reserve of Madhya Pradesh may attack her.

“There are two tigers in the Ghorela tiger reserve and releasing Sundari is fraught with danger as they may kill her. Taking this into consideration, it has been decided that Sundari will be released into the new habitat in Ghorela only after shifting of these two tigers,” said Upadhyay.

In December last year, National Tiger Conservation Authority had asked Odisha government to send back the tigress from Satkosia accusing the Odisha forest and wildllife department of making a mess out of the monitoring and management of the relocated tigress. The tigress relocated from Bandhavgarh tiger reserve of MP under first inter-State relocation exercise of tigers was not monitored and managed as per the standard operating procedure set by it, the NTCA had alleged.

That exercise was India’s first inter-state translocation of tigers but ended in a failure.

Tigress Sundari was brought from the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh in June 2018 as part of the inter-state tiger translocation project and released into Satkosia Tiger Reserve in August the same year. However it was shifted to a enclosure in the tiger reserve after it killed a 45-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man living inside the reserve in September 2018 triggering violence by locals who burnt the forest department’s boats and beat house.

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