Controversy Over Bandhavgarh Tigress in Satkoshia Tiger Reserve

Controversy Over Bandhavgarh Tigress in Satkoshia Tiger Reserve

Satkosia Tiger Reserve is located in Angul district of Odisha state in South-East India. It is spread over an area of 988.30 sq.kms. Recently Bandhavgarh Tigress "Sundari" was shifted from Bandhavgarh forest to this tiger reserve. Its as is around two & half years. Since beginning of this translocation project, it is under shadow of controversy. Some voices raised against such shifting as it could lead to adaption problem in tigress but after shifting, local villagers were raising voice against her presence in forest area, close to their villages.

Villagers agitation aroused when a village woman body was found in forest area. Villagers have alleged that same Bandhavgarh tigress i.e. "Sundari Tigress" had made this kill as she has been seen in the surrounding forest area of village and during their protest, villagers damaged many forest department properties. They have warned the department either they take the tigress away from this forest else they will kill her. According to officials, body of woman was found on September 12.Her post-mortem resport is still awaited to know the reason for death. Only after that report, they will be in a position to comment over the reason. Their is severe panic spread over several villages in Athmallik & Dhandatopa ranges of Angul district.

Here it is important to notice the fact that tigress Sundari was released from here enclosure on Aug 17 and ground work was not properly done, before doing this exercise. Here prey base for animal is poor. Biswajit Mohanty, secretary of the Wildlife Society of Odisha, said that "It is only natural that tigress would have travelled length & breadth of the landscape and get tired & hungry. Since the region has zero prey base, it should not be a shock if she attacks cattle & human beings". Here ground work done by authorities are questionable. As per local sources, the autopsy report of the woman indicates that the cause of death is attack of a carnivorous animal.

In the meantime, Odisha government has maintained the stand that they have not taken any decision to send back "Sundari" tigress of Bandhavgarh. Their state Forest & Environment Minister said that "we have informed the matter to Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and wait for their decision." Here it is important to understand the ground situation under which tigress is living their. Here it is important to check the prey-base and hunting opportunities that availed to tigress, in that region. As Tiger is an animal and it is the right of every living being to arrange food for himself so was did by tigress. Given translocation is part of a very important project and its success will lead to development of new areas for tiger to live and thus will help in increasing their population so we should not take harsh decision without giving sufficient chance to the project to succeed. 

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