BHUBANESWAR: THE death of Mahavir, one of the two translocated tigers at Satkosia, is a clear case of poaching which the field authorities tried to conceal. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), which informed this to state Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) in a letter recently, has called for a proper investigation into the case and strong action against those responsible.
“From the field inspection report, it is evident that the death of T-1 (Mahavir) took place due to poaching and authorities concerned have not yet proceeded with the logical investigation,” the NTCA said.
There were attempts to conceal factors behind the death of the tiger which had been brought to the State as part of country’s first inter-state big cat relocation programme between Odisha and Madhya Pradesh (MP), it further stated.
“This warrants serious action against all concerned. Immediate action should be initiated against those responsible as it has resulted in embarrassment and keeping the project in abeyance,” the NTCA wrote.
Field inspection report of NTCA and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) officials, who had visited Satkosia Tiger Reserve (STR) in November to probe the incident stated, "Prima facie analysis and investigation based on the pictures, documents, nature of injury sustained, tracking team observations and independent interactions with field staff and trackers reveal that the death of T1 (Mahavir) is a clear case of poaching,"
The report also stated that Mahavir was trapped in snare or other traps set up for wild pig in the area around Brahmi/Kharuani village. It might have broken the relatively weak trap and carried the injury around the neck for some time to be subsequently affected by maggot infection leading to death, the report said. Mahavir, also known as and ‘MB2’ had been shifted from MP’s Kanha to Odisha under the tiger translocation project on June 22.
While PCCF Wildlife Sandeep Tripathy couldn’t be reached for his reaction, Satkosia Field Director Sudarshan Panda said he is yet to receive the field inspection report from NTCA.