Tigress Sundari released into Satkosia Tiger Reserve

No decision to send back tigress Sundari to Bandhavgarh: Minister

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray on Friday said no decision has been taken to send back the Royal Bengal tigress ‘Sundari’ from Satakosia wildlife sanctuary to the Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh.

The locals have been demanding the relocation of the tigress after it allegedly mauled a woman to death on the outskirts of Hatibari village in Tikarpada area of Angul district on Wednesday morning.

“We have informed the matter to Wildlife Institute of India (WII) which will take a decision in this regard,” said Routray.

He said that it is not yet ascertained whether the woman died after being attacked by the Bengal tigress.

The postmortem report will confirm the cause of her death, he pointed out.

The Minister also stated that action will be taken against the accused who torched the Hatibari Forest Beat House and the Tikarpada Range Office.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Sandeep Tripathi said the department has not taken any decision to send back Sundari to Madhya Pradesh.

He said necessary steps will be taken after the postmortem report of the woman is received.

Bijay Ketan Patnaik, former PCCF, said it is for the WII officials to decide on shifting Sundari from Satkosia.

If the postmortem attributed the woman’s death to the tigress, it will be kept in zoo and never released into the wild either in Satkosia or in Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh since having killed a human being it will never look for the herbivorous animals in the forest and always target human settlements, he said.

The 27-month-old Royal Bengal tigress was released into the Satkosia Tiger Reserve on August 17 to increase the population of the big cat in the sanctuary.