Call of the wild for straying big cat - Satkosia home for Nandankanan intruder

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By LELIN KUMAR MALLICK
  • Published 11.11.13
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Bhubaneswar, Nov. 10: Life behind bars is going to end for the tiger that had trespassed into Nandankanan zoo for the last time on June 23.

The state forest department has decided to release the wild tiger in the Satakosia Tiger Reserve.

The decision was taken after the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) asked the state forest department to release the tiger in its natural habitat.

“We are waiting for the final detailed report before releasing the wild tiger in Satakosia. The NTCA has already asked us to release the tiger,” said principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife), J.D Sharma.

The six-year-old male tiger, which had been roaming around the zoo since March, was put inside a cage on June 23 this year. On May 31, the tiger had escaped from an exhibit enclosure of the zoo by scaling an 18-feet iron fence.

Ever since the tiger was held, there has been a long battle between animal activists and local residents on the fate of the animal. While the local residents had staged demonstrations demanding that the animal be kept at the zoo, wildlife activists have been asking for its release in the wild.

In July, a three-member team of the NTCA had visited the state. They went to Nandankanan zoo and Satkosia Tiger Reserve. The decision of NTCA to release the tiger is believed to have come following the recommendation of the team.

Wildlife activists have demanded that the tiger be released in its natural habitat, but with a GPS radio collar.

“We welcome the decision to release the tiger in the natural habitat, but the authorities must ensure a strict vigil on its movement in the forest,” said member secretary of People For Animals Sanjib Kumar Das.