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Tigress Sundari tranquilised, taken to zoo

india Updated: Nov 06, 2018 23:51 IST

Officials shift tigress Sundari from Satkosia Tiger Reserve to Nandankanan Zoological Park.(HT Photo)

Sundari, the 30-month-old tigress shifted to Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha’s Angul district as part India’s first inter-state translocation exercise to boost big cat population was on Tuesday tranquilised, days after being blamed for killing a 65-year-old man on October 21. The tigress is being shifted to Bhubaneswar’s Nandankanan Zoological Park.

Residents of areas around the reserve have been demanding that Sundari be sent back to Madhya Pradesh since she was held responsible for killing a 45-year-old woman in September. Protests against Sundari’s alleged attacks had turned violent as protesters burnt several forest department patrol boats in protest against the woman’s killing. As many as 29 people have been arrested in connection with the agitation for Sundari’s relocation.

The woman’s postmortem report was unclear, suggesting that some wild animal had mauled her to death. But the report failed to conclusively establish that a big cat had killed her. The reserve’s divisional forest officer, P Ramaswamy, had last week said the 65-year-old man’s autopsy had suggested a tiger has killed him.

Odisha’s chief wildlife warden, Sandeep Tripathy, said a joint team of experts from reserve and the park fired tranquiliser darts at Sundari near a stream. Tripathy said Sundari would be kept in an enclosure for a few days before being shifted. Sundari was shifted to the reserve from Madhya Pradesh’s Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in June. Officials said a tiger shifted along with her seems to have settled down well in the reserve’s core area.

Odisha forest and environment minister Bijayshree Routray had last week promised to send the tigress to the park following the man’s killing.

World Wide Fund for Nature’s species and landscape director Dipankar Ghose had last week told HT that putting a tiger in a zoo on the basis of mere “threat perception” was like sending someone to jail. He said it can be extremely traumatising.

First Published: Nov 06, 2018 23:15 IST