Bhopal: Will Sundari, the tigress which was brought to Satkosia Tiger Reserve (STR) with tiger Mahabir under inter-state translocation programme, finally end up in a zoo?
According to a report published in Free Press Journal, the Madhya Pradesh government seems reluctant to take the tigress back and would prefer that it be sent to Nandankanan Zoological Park. This despite the fact that the Odisha Forest Department has already written letter to National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), stating that the state is ready to send her back to Madhya Pradesh.
It was brought to Satkosia from the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh in June 2018.
The Madhya Pradesh government will soon send a high-level team for medically diagnosis of the tigress. “If her health permits, we will take her back to Madhya Pradesh. Otherwise, it is better to leave her in Nandankanan Zoo than make her undergo unnecessary pains during translocation to end up at Van Vihar National Park in Bhopal,” Principal Chief Conservation of Forest (PCCF Wild Life) Rajendra Shrivastava was quoted as saying.
Mahabir (male) and Sundari (female) were translocated to Satkosia to repopulate the reserve’s dwindling big cat population. The male tiger was found dead in November 2018. Sundari was put back in a restricted open enclosure in the tiger reserve after it killed a 45-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man in the nearby villages.
Odisha Chief Wildlife Warden Hari Shankar Upadhyay had earlier told reporters that they had written to the Madhya Pradesh Government to take back the tigress in view of the National Tiger Conservation Authority’s (NTCA) directive.
The NTCA directive followed the suspension of the tiger translocation programme in Satkosia Tiger Reserve due to the alleged failure of the Odisha government to ensure safe habitat to the two translocated big cats.
“The tigress T-2 cannot be allowed to be kept in a small enclosure for any longer time. Therefore, in the interest of Tiger conservation, the tigress T-2 shall be withdrawn and brought to Ghorela centre at Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh with immediate effect for re-wilding and subsequent release to suitable habitat,” Deputy Inspector General, NTCA, Surender Mehra, had earlier written to the Chief Secretary of Odisha.