Bhubneswar: The State Government on Monday decided to shift tigress Sundari to Nandankanan Zoological Park here after it is tranquilised. This was informed by the Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray.
Minister Routray said that once captured, the tigress would be shifted to a well-protected environment of Nandankanan. “It appears that the tigress has become more cautious following the attempts of our teams to tranquilise it. However, additional teams will be deployed to capture Sundari and, subsequently, it will be shifted to Nandankan,” said Routray.
Routray further stated that such a decision has been taken keeping in view the several aspects including safety of people which cannot be overlooked completely.
“Our plans are to keep Sundari in the tiger safari in Nandankanan and we will notify National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) officials in this regard. If they do not accept our proposal, we may consider sending back the tigress to the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, from where it was brought as part of the ambitious Tiger Translocation Programme,” Routray added.
Meanwhile, two tranquilliser teams from the Pench and Kanha Tiger Reserves in Madhya Pradesh arrived in the State on the day to tranquilise the tigress, informed Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Sandip Tripathy. The teams have already reached the field, the official said. “The entire situation is being monitored. The tigress was last spotted in deep forests around three km from Asanabahala village,” he added. Earlier, the Odisha Forest Department had requested its Madhya Pradesh counterpart to send two teams to capture Sundari.
The tigress was relocated from Madhya Pradesh’s Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve to the Satkosia wildlife sanctuary on June 28 in a pilot inter-State transfer project to increase the big cat population in Odisha.