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‘Man-eating’ tigress tranquilised at Odisha reserve after locals protest

Written by PaperDabba
Published: November 6, 2018 8:00:34 pm

The tigress named ‘Sundari’ was translocated to Odisha from the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh in order to repopulate the reserve’s tiger population. (Representational Image)

A “man-eating” tigress was tranquilised by forest officials in Odisha’s Satkosia Tiger Reserve on Tuesday morning after locals complained that it killed two persons in the vicinity, PTI reported.

The tigress named ‘Sundari’ was translocated to Odisha from the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh in order to repopulate the reserve’s tiger population. Another male tiger was brought from the Kanha Tiger Reserve for the purpose.

The operation was conducted by experts, including officials from Nandankanan Zoo and Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary, who shot the dart while the tigress was feasting. Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) (wildlife) Sandeep Tripathy told PTI that Sundari’s health is in good condition.

The Indian Express on September 13 had reported that the tigress had allegedly killed a local woman which led to angry protests by the locals. The deceased, identified as Kailashi Garnayak of Hatibari village in Tikarpara range under Anugul district, went missing when she went to bathe in a pond. Her body, recovered by a local search party, bore injuries made by the tigress.

The following days saw angry protests from the residents who burned down a forest department building and beat up forest officials.

READ | Editorial: Death of a tiger

In August, Odisha forest department officials had said that the newly released big cats in Satkosia Tiger Reserve were under threat from villagers, who might attack the animals fearing for their safety and of their cattle.

According to PTI, one more person was mauled by the tigress last month.

The tigress will be kept in a special enclosure for now, an official at Satkosia reserve told PTI. “Sundari will be kept at a special enclosure at Rayagada area in Satkosia, The authorities of the National Tiger Conservation Authority will decide on the next course of action,” he said.

The incident comes days after another ‘man-eating’ tigress T1, or Avni, was killed in Maharashtra Yavatmal forest. The tigress, survived by her two 10 months old cubs, was believed to be responsible for the deaths of 13 people in the past two years.

Union minister Maneka Gandhi had lashed out at the Maharashtra government over the “ghastly murder” of the tigress and called it a “straight case of crime”.

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