Keonjhar/Patana: Days after the recovery of a wild boar carcass near a stream as well as discovery of six paw prints nearby in Atei reserve forest under Patana range in Keonjhar district, forest officials have hinted towards presence of a Royal Bengal Tiger in the jungle.
The wild boar carcass was recovered near the stream Thursday and some paw prints were also spotted near the carcass. Later, several paw prints of a wild animal were again traced near the stream, Saturday.
This was stated here by a wildlife expert Nimain Palei from Bhubaneswar who visited the spot and conducted an examination. He said the paw prints are over 14 cm in length and availability of paw prints is indicative of the presence of a Royal Bengal Tiger in Atei reserve Sal forest.
The development has sparked panic among the residents in the area as the villagers were seen travelling on the road carrying sharp-edged weapons like axes and billhooks.
Demanding security measures and protection, residents of Rohiniduma village gheraoed the ACF Saturday. They urged the administration to install solar street lights on the road connecting Rohiniduma with Dumuria village. Villagers claimed that the death of villager Anant Majhi is due to tiger attack. The Forest department has rejected the claim while the SDPO, Ghatagon claimed the death to have occurred due to tiger attack.
Panicked, the students of these areas have stopped visiting the schools for the last four days. Villagers Rukmani Naik, Ledi Mohanta, Yudhisthir Mohanta, and Golap Mohanta demanded launch of free bus service to Dumuria.
The discovery of the paw prints prompted the forest officials to undertake more examinations. A special team led by ACF Ghanashyam Mohanta rushed to the spot and conducted investigations into the discovery from various aspects. The team comprised six officials, a wildlife expert from Bhubaneswar, Nimain Palei, a veterinarian Dr Brajaraj Singh from Wildlife Trust of India, OUAT student Ashis Nayak and satellite experts.
The team has decided to go to any length to find out the animal whose paw prints were found near the stream. It has also been decided to install 50 trap cameras to find out whose paw print it might be and track the movement of other wild animals, ACF Mohanta said.
The ACF said that the presence of wild animals in the forest is nothing new as they also used to live there 30 years back. He urged the people not to panic and remain cautious and not to step out of their homes at night in light of the development. He said in this situation, they are concerned about the security and protection of wild animals as they might fall prey to uncalled poaching.
Meanwhile, a 25-member team of forest officials comprising Patana ranger Ghashinath Patra, Saharpada forester Bhupati Sethi, his Patana counterpart Chittaranjan Parida, special forester Peon Nayak, forest guard Prajukta Jena, para staff and fire staff reached the spot and installed 10 trap cameras in the jungle, Friday while 40 more trap cameras will be installed in phases.
When contacted, Keonjhar DFO HD Dhanraj said the probe is being conducted on the basis of the guideline by National Tiger Conservation Authority.
post news network
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