Bhubaneswar: Mahavir, a male Royal Bengal Tiger, translocated from Kanha tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh, was found dead in the core area of Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary, dealing a blow to the country’s first inter-state, wild-to-wild translocation of big cats.
Shortly after the incident, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) advised the Odisha government to temporarily halt the inter-state tiger translocation programme, till an investigation is completed and a thorough review conducted, a senior forest department official said.
As part of the programme, six tigers were to be brought to Odisha from Madhya Pradesh and two of the big cats had already been procured by the state since June, he said.
While the exact reason behind death of the three-year-old tiger could be ascertained only after a post-mortem, the state government Thursday ordered a departmental inquiry into the incident after the carcass of the animal was spotted Wednesday.
“Ramasamy P, DFO, Satkosia Wildlife Division, has been appointed by the field director, Satkosia Tiger Reserve, as investigating officer to carry out a detailed inquiry into the matter,’’ an official statement said earlier.
Odisha’s Forest and Environment Additional Chief Secretary SC Mohapatra confirmed the tiger’s death and said the principal chief conservator of forests, wildlife, has rushed to the spot. He said a member of the NTCA would be in the team which would conduct the post-mortem.
An investigation of the carcass showed a deep, lacerated wound in the dorsal neck region of the tiger had infection with maggots, which could be the cause of the death, Ramaswamy P said later, adding the wound might be due to fight with other wild animals or the tiger could have been caught in a snare net.
The tiger was brought from Madhya Pradesh’s Kanha Tiger Reserve June 21 and released into the wild July 7. A radio collar was fitted on its neck to keep track of the animal’s movement. Signals from the radio collar had indicated Wednesday the animal was immobile, forest department officials said.
The other Royal Bengal Tiger, a female named ‘Sundari’, procured by the Odisha government has allegedly killed two people, prompting the state government to shift her to a special enclosure in Angul district.
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