Tigress Sundari back in Madhya Pradesh as translocation project fails

Updated on Mar 26, 2021 12:52 AM IST

Tigress Sundari, who was relocated from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve three years ago as part of a rehabilitation programme, returned to the state after travelling about 700 km, the official added.

Tigress Sundari at the Satkosia tiger reserve in Odisha. (HT PHOTO)
Tigress Sundari at the Satkosia tiger reserve in Odisha. (HT PHOTO)
By, Bhopal

A tigress was translocated to Kanha Tiger Reserve (KTR) from Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha in the wee hours of Thursday, a forest official said.

Tigress Sundari, who was relocated from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve three years ago as part of a rehabilitation programme, returned to the state after travelling about 700 km, the official added.

The tiger was tranquilized and brought in a van fitted with a cage and released in Ghorela enclosure of Mukki area of KTR in Balaghat district, Rajneesh Singh, public relation officer of wildlife wing of the forest, said.

“A team of veterinary doctors checked and left the big cat in the enclosure on Thursday morning. The tigress is completely healthy and active,” KTR joint director S K Sinha said.

Alok Kumar, principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife), Madhya Pradesh, said: “As part of the rewilding process, we have to check how the tigress is adopting to the habitat and whether she has the capability to kill her prey. On that basis, we will decide whether to release her in the forest or not.”

In 2018, Sundari, along with a male tiger Mahavir, was taken to Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve under the first inter-state tiger relocation project in the country, to shore up the tiger population in the state. The relocation was also aimed at reducing the tiger population in areas with excess tigers to reduce territorial disputes and to reintroduce tigers in places where their count has dropped due to various reasons.

The project, however, failed after Mahavir was killed by poachers and villagers staged a protest against Sundari as she had reportedly attacked some of them. The forest officials in Odisha then shifted the tigress to an enclosure.

A petition was later filed in the Madhya Pradesh high court, seeking return of the tigress following which the state forest department began the rewilding process, Kumar said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    She is a senior reporter based at Bhopal. She covers higher education, social issues, youth affairs, woman and child development related issues, sports and business & industries.

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