Bantala: A decision on whether Royal Bengal tigress ‘Sundari’ will be released into the Satkosia sanctuary or will be kept at Nandankanan Zoo or will be relocated to Bandhavgarh National Park would be taken at a meeting in Bhubaneswar, July 15.
Sundari has been confined in an enclosure at Raiguda since November 6, 2018. Plans are afoot however, to expand the enclosure to five hectares at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore. A rivulet, hills and a den will be added to the area to give it the look of a tiger habitat.
The forest department has also not confirmed whether the other tigress at Satkosia who was found pregnant, has given birth or not. Forest Department officials had announced that she was pregnant in November 2018. The tigress has been spotted a number of times, but without any cubs.
Angul Regional Chief Conservator of Forests (RCCF) and Satkosia Field Director Pradeep Raj Karat confirmed that discussions will take place to decide on the future of Sundari. It will be attended by Karat, officials from NTCA, Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Satkosia DFO.
“A meeting will take place July 15 to decide on the future of Sundari. However, it is up to National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and WII to take a final call whether to release Sundari inside the Satkosia Tiger Range,” said Karat.
“We had information that the other tigress in Satkosia is pregnant. As of now, we have no information if she has given birth. However we have fixed more than 200 cameras at strategic locations to collect data of her status,” added Karat.
The official also said efforts are on to end the frequent skirmishes between villagers in Satkosia and forest department officials regarding the presence of tigers.
Karat informed that villagers would be taken to tiger projects in other states. They would be taught about how livelihood can be earned from such tiger reserves. Also steps would be taken to educate the villagers on how to avoid the man-animal conflict.