NTCA team arriving to decide fate of straying tiger, may relocate it in Satkosia - The New Indian Express

NTCA team arriving to decide fate of straying tiger, may relocate it in Satkosia

Published: 01st July 2013 09:37 AM

Last Updated: 01st July 2013 10:46 AM

The two-member committee appointed by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for making site appraisal in Satkosia to facilitate relocation of the straying tiger is set to arrive here on Monday.

The team, comprising Assistant Inspector General Dr Bilal Habib and Wildlife Institute of India Scientist Parag Nigam, will take stock of the habitat at Satkosia which is believed to be the home of the five-year-old tiger, currently in Nandankanan Zoological Park’s White Tiger Safari. “We have information that the two-member team will reach here on July 1 or maybe a day later,” sources in the Wildlife Wing said.

On June 6, the NTCA had ordered that the five-year-old tiger should be released into the wild in Satkosia after radio collaring. The national authority had also sought a post-release monitoring protocol to be put in place for which it will provide funding support.

The team will visit Satkosia, a low density tiger reserve, to make an inspection of the probable sites where the tiger could be relocated. It will also assess the conflict issues since male tigers are extremely territorial in nature.

Besides, relocation sites have to be taken into consideration on basis of their proximity to human habitations to avoid any man-animal conflict.

In fact, the NTCA has made it clear that it will fund the radio collaring and subsequent post-release protocol. The national body has a whole laid down procedure to prevent any conflict situation arising out of straying of wild tigers.

Chief Wildlife Warden J D Sharma, vested with the power to decide the tiger’s fate, had said that he would wait for the advice of the NTCA team members and take a call which is in the “best interest of the carnivore as well as the people.”

The five-year-old male tiger, which has been in Chandaka forests and in the vicinity of Nandankanan, also a wildlife sanctuary, had entered the zoo’s safari on April 30. A month later, with its fate hanging in the balance and no action taken by the Wildlife Wing, the zoo authorities had moved it to an enclosure. The same day, on May 31, it scaled the 18 feet iron mesh wall of the enclosure and freed itself.

About a week back, it returned again and is back in the safari. In case relocation is recommended by the NTCA, it will also discuss capture of the tiger which requires immobilisation. The relocation, strongly advocated by wildlife activists, may trigger protest from adjoining local villagers who have been seeking that the predator be kept in captivity at the zoo.

On June 6, the NTCA had ordered that the five-year-old tiger should be released into the wild in Satkosia after radio collaring.

The relocation may trigger protest from adjoining local villagers who have been seeking that the predator be kept in captivity at the zoo.

The team will visit Satkosia, a low density tiger reserve, to make an inspection of the probable sites where the tiger could be relocated.

In case relocation is recommended by the NTCA, it will also discuss capture of the tiger which requires immobilisation.

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