Bhubaneswar: The Central Zoo Authority has cautioned Odisha’s Forest and Environment Department to consider provisions of the National Zoo Policy, 1998 before taking a decision on shifting tigress ‘Sundari’ to Nandankanan Zoological Park.
Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray had indicated earlier that Sundari would be shifted to Nandankanan Zoo as it had allegedly killed two persons in the Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary. However, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has opposed the state government move of shifting the big cat to Nandankanan Zoo here.
Responding to a complaint filed by a wildlife activist who termed the state’s decision to transfer Sundari to Nandankanan Zoo as unlawful, National Zoo Authority member-secretary DN Singh wrote to Odisha Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Sandeep Tripathy that, “Except for obtaining founder animals for approved breeding programme and infusion of new blood into inbred groups, no zoo can collect animals from the wild.”
Tripathy had said a high-level committee comprising experts from the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the Wildlife Institute of India and the state Forest and Environment Department will watch the behaviour of the tigress inside the enclosure at Raiguda for three days and then take a decision on its relocation.
Sundari was brought from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh and released into the enclosure at Raiguda in the core area of Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary June 18. She was later released into the wild August 18.
Following allegations of killing of two persons by Sundari, the tigress was tranquilised Tuesday (November 6) and she is put inside the Raiguda enclosure.