Angul:Efforts to release the Royal Bengal tigress, Sundari, who is currently confined in a special enclosure in Raiguda inside the Satkosia Tiger Reserve went in vain due to alleged negligence of the forest officials, reports said.
According to sources, a trained elephant was to be deployed to get Sundari back to the wild once more. The elephant named Yashoda was being taken to Satkosia from Chandaka forest when forest officials turned it back as they had failed to spot the tiger in its enclosure. Hence the elephant had to unnecessarily bear the pain of travelling in the confinement of a truck.
This harassment of Yashoda has sparked off resentment among animal lovers who condemned the indifferent attitude of forest officials.
“They should have first found out the exact location of Sundari before deciding to transport Yashoda. The elephant was unnecessarily harassed,” a senior conservationist said adding that the pachyderm will again have to go through same pangs of travel when Sundari is spotted.
It is already a known fact that Yashoda has a volatile temper and gets jittery if it has to travel. Yashoda had trampled a man to death while returning to Bhubaneswar after it was involved in the tranquilisation of Sundari in November, 2018. It may be noted here that, Sundari has been kept in the enclosure since November.
Questions are also being raised as to why the tigress has been kept inside an enclosure for over two months as it will affect the animal’s natural instincts. The National Tiger Conservation Authority had also raised questions on the role of the Odisha Forest department in addressing the issue. Wildlife Warden Sandeep Tripathy had then clarified that proper guidelines have been followed and soon Sundari will be released into the forest.
Sundari, was brought to Satkosia in June 2018 from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in MP. But after protests following allegations that the tigress had killed two persons and a bullock in separate incidents in Baghamunda and Tainsi villages area in October last year, the state government decided to capture the big cat and put it in the enclosure. Since then, it has remained confined.