BHUBANESWAR/ANGUL: After two weeks of struggle, an expert team of Forest Department succeeded in tranquillising tigress Sundari in Satkosia Tiger Reserve on Tuesday morning.Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) (wildlife) Sandeep Tripathy said Sundari was tranquillised by the Satkosia TR expert team at a location between Behera Sahi and Majhipara village at around 10.45 am.
The operation was conducted by experts, including officials from Nandankanan Zoo and Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary, who shot the dart while the tigress was feasting. The expert team took help of Yashoda, a Kunki elephant from Chandaka, in the operation.
The tigress was staying at the location after coming from Kadalikhole jungle near Purunakote two days back. The team was monitoring her movements. On Tuesday morning, the tigress was spotted at a plain area near Majhipara.
As Yashoda was reluctant to go to the spot through bushes, the team went to the plain area by a vehicle and fired the dart that hit the backside of the tigress. She was immediately examined by the doctors and put in a cage. The cage was loaded in a carrier which travelled to special enclosure at Raigoda.
Tripathy said after tranquillisation, the big cat has been brought back to the holding area in Raigoda where she was lodged after its translocation from Madhya Pradesh before being released in Satkosia on August 17. “Sundari’s health is in good condition and she will be kept in a special enclosure for now,” Tripathy said.
The local villagers have been demanding relocation of the tigress after it allegedly mauled two persons to death in the forest areas. Demand for her relocation from Satkosia gained momentum after the death of Trinath Sahu on October 22. On September 12, a woman was killed.
Tripathy said the future course of action will be decided by a joint team of experts comprising officials of state Forest and Environment Department, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and experts from Wildlife Institute of India.
The NTCA and WII officials will reach Odisha soon to observe the behaviour of the tigress, he added.
Sundari was brought to Odisha from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve for its release into Satkosia Tiger Reserve on June 28 as part of India’s first ever inter-state tiger relocation project.