NTCA To Probe Debrigarh Big Cat Death

Bhubaneswar: The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) will probe the death of a feline, whose headless carcass was recovered from a pit inside Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha’s Bargarh district on October 29.

Informing this to the media on Thursday, NTCA chairperson Anup Nayak said that a two-member team will visit the sanctuary soon to investigate the matter.

The team will then submit its report within 10 days, he added.

Though the carcass was initially suspected to be that of a tiger, state Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray later confirmed that it belonged to a leopard, which was buried after its death.

A Royal Bengal tiger was recently spotted in Debrigarh sanctuary through trap cameras installed in the core forest area.

“The postmortem revealed that the carcass was of a leopard of around 2 to 3 weeks old,” Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) Sandip Tripathy had added.

The NTCA had earlier sought a detailed report from the state Forest and Environment Department on the circumstances leading to the death of the big cat and the action it had taken so far.

Four days after the recovery of the carcass, the Bargarh DFO on Wednesday had suspended Kamagan forester Parsuram Behera and Hajurigarh forest guard Pravasini Mahananda for dereliction of duty.

Meanwhile, the Forest Department has decided to reinstall CCTV cameras at various locations in the core area of the sanctuary. “The CCTV cameras were removed from the sanctuary due to Maoist menace,” the PCCF had said, adding that the NTCA guidelines were being strictly adhered to.

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