Satkosia ready for big cats

The state government has started the process of release of three pairs of Royal Bengal tigers from Madhya Pradesh in the Satkosia sanctuary in Angul district.

By Lelin Mallick in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 15.02.18
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PRIDE OF JUNGLE

Bhubaneswar: The state government has started the process of release of three pairs of Royal Bengal tigers from Madhya Pradesh in the Satkosia sanctuary in Angul district.

It will shortly send a team to Madhya Pradesh to discuss the modalities for the relocation.

"The Madhya Pradesh government has agreed to release three pairs of Royal Bengal tigers either from the Bandhavgarh National Park or the Kanha National Park," said principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) Sandeep Tripathy. He said that initially one pair of big cats would be released in the core are of the sanctuary.

Forest officials said they would propose the Madhya Pradesh government to release the first pair in April.

Officials of the Wildlife Institute of India and the National Tiger Conservation Authority will also be included in the exercise to maintain a balance in the biodiversity of the sanctuary.

"In the first phase, one pair of tigers will be released and their movement will be monitored thoroughly. Based on the results, the remaining two pairs will be released in phase-wise manner," said a forest official.

Earlier, the state government had submitted a proposal worth Rs 26 crore to the tiger conservation authority to increase its population in the Satkosia Tiger Reserve.

While the Centre is proposed to bear 60 per cent of the expenditure, the state will contribute the rest.

To facilitate the release of tigers, the district administration has vacated the people of two villages from the core area.

At present, the sanctuary is left with only one tiger.

Forest officials are hopeful that the release of tigers in the sanctuary will increase its population.

"With relocation of people from the core area, there will be increase in the number of herbivore animals, which will ensure the food for tigers," said a forest official.