No decision yet on return of tigress ‘Sundari’ from Satkosia, says Odisha Forests Minister


Bhubaneswar, September 14, 2018: A day after the Angul district administration hinted at shifting the Royal Bengal tigress ‘Sundari’ to the Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh after it mauled a woman to death in Satakosia wildlife sanctuary in Angul on Wednesday, Forests and Environment Minister Bijayashree Routray on Friday said that no decision has been taken as yet on the issue.

“The local district administration can’t take a decision on shifting of the tigress. Even the State Government has no role in it. We will submit a report on the issue to the Wildlife Institute of India and it will take a final call,” Routray told media persons here today.

The Minister further said that it was not clear yet as to who killed the woman.

“We have to wait for post mortem report to know the exact reason of the death of the woman,” said the Minister.

Expressing displeasure over the torching of forest beat house and violent activities of the locals, the Minister said adequate safety measures will be ensured for the villagers.

On Thursday irate villagers agreed to withdraw their protest after Satkosia Tiger Reserve (STR) officials assured them to shift tigress ‘Sundari’, which was brought from the Bandhavgarh forest.

Angul Superintendent of Police Mitrabhanu Mohapatra also said that to tranquilise the royal cat, two teams of forest officials from Dehradun in Uttarakhand and Bandhavgarh National Park will arrive at Satkosia.

The decision of bringing Sundari into custody was taken after local residents resorted to a violent protest following the death of the woman.

Notably, tension ran high for two consecutive days on Wednesday and Thursday after the woman, identified as Kailashi Soya, was allegedly killed by the tigress at Hatibari under Tikarapada range in Satkosia forest on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Angul district collector Anil Kumar Samal said that the district administration has provided an ex-gratia of Rs 20,000 to the family of the deceased Kailashi. Moreover, the forest department would give Rs 4 lakh to her family.

On August 17, the 27-month-old Sundari was released into the Satkosia Tiger Reserve to increase the population of the big cat in the sanctuary.

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