Satkosia Tigress Attack: Ex-Gratia Given To Family Of Deceased

Angul: A day after the death of an old man of Tainsi village in Satkosia sanctuary, who is suspected to have been killed by the Royal Bengal tigress Sundari, the Forest Department on Monday provided ex-gratia to the family of the deceased.

While the Forest Department paid the ex-gratia amount of Rs 40,000, the District Red Cross provided Rs 20,000 compensation to the bereaved family.

Meanwhile, an expert team from the Similipal National Park in Mayurbhanj district arrived in Angul in the afternoon. The team, in association with the other expert team comprising experts from Bhubaneswar-based College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry of the Odisha University of Agriculture Technology (OUAT), Nandankanan Zoological Park and Gun Assistants and Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, which reached Angul on Sunday night, will make an effort to tranquilise the tigress.

However, both the teams are yet to proceed to Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary due to the prevailing tension in Tainsi village, reports said.

It will be a challenge for us to capture Sundari as she is a free-ranging tigress. On the instruction of the PCCF, we have been camping in Angul since last night. We have information that another expert team from Similipal is on the way. Since we have no experience in tranquilizing a free-ranging tiger, the Similipal team will be a great help as it has considerable experience. Together, we will make an effort to tranquilize the tigress. We will also seek help from the locals of Satkosia,” tranquilizer expert of OUAT, Dr Indramani Nath told mediapersons in Angul.

The Forest Department is also waiting for a go-ahead from the state administration to tranquilize the tigress.

Talking to the media earlier in the day, Angul District Collector Anil Kumar Samal, said that the Forest Department has decided to capture the tigress very soon. But before that, there is a need to restore normalcy in the village.

“We are trying to restore normalcy after which steps would be taken to capture the tigress very soon. After she is captured, the Forest Department will take a call whether to keep her inside the enclosure or to relocate her to other sanctuaries of the state. We are keeping a close watch on the situation in the area and are hopeful that normalcy will be restored in the area in a couple of days,” he added.

In a letter to the additional chief secretary, Forest and Environment, Suresh Chandra Mahapatra, he had requested him to take urgent steps to tranquilize the Bengal tigress and immediately relocate her to other areas of the state. “As the Bengal tigress is now frequently attacking and killing the people and the domestic animals, there is law and order situation in the villages in Satkosia sanctuary. Besides, the Satkosia Khyatigrasta Praja Surakhya Samiti has been vehemently opposing relocation of the tigress. Considering the above, efforts should be made to ensure security to the people and restore normalcy in the sanctuary area,” he added.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF), Wildlife, Sandip Tripathy informed that the tigress, once tranquilized, would be kept inside an enclosure at Raiguda inside Satkosia Tiger Reserve (STR). It is the same enclosure where she was kept after being brought from Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh on June 28.

“We have written a letter to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) about the next course of action after the tigress is released into the enclosure,” he added.

Tripathy said that the first priority of the Forest Department was to tranquilize the tigress and provide protection to the villagers living inside the sanctuary. “We have requested the villagers to allow the expert teams to tranquilize the tigress at the earliest,” he added.

He, however, said that the time has not come to declare the Bengal tigress a man-eater.

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