Journey Continues for Sundari Tigress of Bandhavgarh

Journey Continues for Sundari Tigress of Bandhavgarh

Introduction

Sundari tigress is from Bandhavgarh national park of Madhya Pradesh. She was part of a deal between two states i.e. Madhya Pradesh and Odisha in which Madhya Pradesh agreed to provide tigress to Odisha for revival of tiger population in their Satkosia Tiger Reserve. For this shifting, Forest Department of Madhya Pradesh selected Sundari tigress of Bandhavgarh. Prior approval was taken from NTCA, for this translocation. Authorities claims that they have studied all aspects before translocation. Sundari tigress was first put in an enclosure for about 40 days and later shifted from Madhya Pradesh to Odisha state where once again put for some days in enclosure. Finally released in Satkosia Tiger Reserve in August month. All this done with positive intentions. 

 

In Satkosia Tiger Reserve

During this translocation, many wildlife experts raised question on such relocation as it would be difficult for an animal to get adapted into changed condition where forest, climate, prey-base is of different type. But project continues in its own pace by giving logic of successful reloations carried out for Panna National Park, Sariska Tiger Reserve by overlooking some noticable facts that in Panna national park, tigers were bought from nearby tiger reserves like Pench, Kanha, Bandhavgarh, which are in same state, with almost similar climatic conditions. Similarly for Sariska Tiger Reserve, tigers were arranged from Ranthambore nationa park which is again from same state i.e. Rajasthan. Local villagers from Satkosia remain reluctant for such tiger relocation and blamed Sundari tigress of Bandhavgarh for roaming around village areas and killing of two human beings. After those killings, they begun their agitation with demand to relocate the tigress to some other place. Local people burn down several Forest Department local office, vehicles and this created law and order problem. 

Another Relocation

As Human society is supreme in this land and presumes birth right over all land areas so local authorities favored local people and decision was taken to relocated Sundari to other place. In case of killing of two human beings, woman's post mortem failed to conclude that it is act of an big cat it proves the fact that victims were mauled to death by some wild animal. In an autopsy report of 65 year old man, killed in forest, indicates that any tiger has killed him and thus it was taken as base to take decision as it was an act of Sundari Tigress and thus she should be shifted to some other location. Within a period of 3 months, Sundari tigress has experienced second relocation in which she will be first shifted to an enclosure of Nandan Kanan Zoo and on suitable time, will be shifted back to her homeland i.e. in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. We can judge this decision as right or wrong, by seeing the situation from different angles but we should be thankful to local state government and Forest Department for their decision to translocate the tigress rather than kill her, as done in Maharashtra state where Avani tigress was killed because of the irresponsibly or immaturely handling of case where they failed to tranquilize the tigress in 3 month period and found it easy to shoot her.

What Next ?

As if now, Sundari tigress was tranquilized and will be taken to Raiguda enclosure. Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Mr. Sandeep Tripathi has revealed the fact that tigress is in good condition. Two special teams were called from Kanha and Pench tiger reserves of Madhya Pradesh who had experience in tranquilizing big cats. Sundari will spend some days in Raiguda enclosure till next decision. Here National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and Forest Department will decide on the next course of action and their decision will decide the fate of tigress. Here it is matter of study that in this whole episode, what went wrong, why tigress killed human being, is their problem with prey base or decision was taken in haste etc. Outcome of such study will contribute to success of future actions.

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