Odisha Begins Process For Shifting Tigress Sundari To MP

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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Thursday said that tigress Sunadri would be shifted to Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh (MP) any time now.

The announcement came two weeks after a directive by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to immediately shift the tigress from Satkosia sanctuary in Angul district to MP.

Odisha Chief Wildlife Warden, Hari Shankar Upadhyay told the media that the state government has written to its MP counterpart, requesting it to take back Sundari in line with the NTCA directive.

Sundari was brought from MP’s Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in June 2018 as part of an inter-state tiger translocation project. The tigress was released into Satkosia Tiger Reserve in August the same year.

The Forest Department, however, was forced to relocate the big cat into a special rehabilitation enclosure after the death of two persons and a bullock at Baghamunda and Tainsi villages inside the reserve area allegedly after being attacked by the tigress sparked protests.

Criticising the state government for violating the standard operating procedure (SOP) by keeping the tigress inside the enclosure, NTCA wrote to the Odisha chief secretary on December 17, 2019, maintaining that “Tigress T-2 cannot be allowed to be kept in a small enclosure for any longer time. Therefore, in interest of Tiger Conservation, Tigress T-2 shall be withdrawn and brought to Ghorela centre at Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, with immediate effect for re-wilding and subsequent release to suitable habitat.”

Besides, the NTCA had also made it clear that there will be no inter-state tiger translocation in Odisha, henceforth.

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