The tiger that has been stalking the forests of Chandaka has made its first visible kill. Carcass of a domestic animal, with fang marks of the large cat, was spotted by the sanctuary officials at Salabonipokhari forest near Pithakhia village on Monday morning.
The killing has confirmed that the straying feline is still roaming the Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary ever since it appeared in December last. Hoping that the tiger may return to reclaim its kill, the sanctuary officials have left the carcass intact and are lying in the wait.
Divisional Forest Officer of Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary Siba Narayan Mohapatra said Salabonipokhari is a dense forest full of bamboo and sal species and an ideal secluded area for the tiger. It comes under Dampara Range.
“Our watchers have confirmed hearing the tiger roar. I personally inspected the killing spot and can vouch that there is sufficient evidence to claim the wild cat is still there,” he told this paper.
It was in December last year that the wildlife officials first spotted the pug marks of the tiger in Talabasta section of the sanctuary. The officials tried to secure pug impression of the large cat on pads but in vain.
About a fortnight later, the tiger was found near Baranga and even paid a “visit” near the Lion Safari of Nandankanan Zoological Park where waste of lion feed is dumped. The zoo officials who tried to keep a watch on the tiger in the night time also found that it had entered the zoo premises once but did not proceed further.
The feline’s footfalls were also found near Pitapalli, close to Khurda, a few days later. It is believed to have strayed from Satkosia Tiger Reserve through Dhenkanal and Athagarh forest but there is no clear word on it yet.