15 Nov, 2018
A Case of Mismanagement or Poaching? Tiger Transferred from Kanha National Park Found Dead in Odisha
A dead body of a tiger was found in Satkosia in Odisha after the forest officials stumbled upon the carcass of the tiger in the Wildlife Sanctuary’s core area. The tiger was transferred from Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh to Odisha under the pioneer Inter-state transfer project.
In Case You Didn’t Know
The discovery of the recent deceased body of the tiger is second such discovery after another carcass of a male tiger was found in October by the forest officials in the Debrigarh Sanctuary. The second such case within 3 weeks raises a serious question about the efficiency of Forest Officials in Odisha.
The Heart of The Matter
The carcass of the tiger brought from Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh under the pioneer Inter-state transfer project was found in the core of the Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary. The Forest Officials have arrested 4 alleged poachers for the killing of the tiger in Satkosia. The forest officials have released a statement saying that the preliminary findings concluded that a deep lacerated and 5 days old infected wound was found on the dorsal neck region of the discovered tiger. The officials say that the wound might have attributed to the death of the tiger. The statement also added that the incident occurred 500 metres from Raigoda to Nuagoda forest inside the Athgarh Forest Division.
Anup Nayak, the chief of the National Tiger Conservation Authority was contacted for a statement, however, he was not available for the response.
Odisha’s former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Bijay Ketan Patnaik was seen stating that this shows the efficiency for their forest department’s administration.
A tiger conservationist, Dr Ullas Karanath was seen critiquing the inter-state transfer project with Indian Express. He said that dumping tigers in the area with low prey, high human population and cattle are most of the times an invitation for increasing human-animal conflicts. This can eventually lead to locals not supporting the tiger preservation. He believes that the core area of the tiger habitat should be free of humans to ensure a successful tiger preservation program.
In June 2018 a 195 kg tiger was shifted to revive Satkosia to revive the dwindling big cat population in the area. Days later, a female tigress named Sundari was also brought to the tiger reserve in Odisha. These two were the first case of tiger transfer under the Inter-state transfer project. Overseen by NTCA was aimed to shift a total of 6 tigers in Odisha to boost the tiger population in the area.
Bijay Patnaik also concluded that after the current incident, he isn’t optimistic whether the Madhya Pradesh would want to continue the project. In September, Indian Express in its findings concluded that the transfer of big cats violated the NTCA’s “Standard Operating Procedure For Active Management towards the rehabilitation of Tigers from source areas at the landscape level.” The tigress Sundari also suffered from a major tension after she mauled and killed two locals of the nearby villages. The locals retaliated by attacking the forest officials and bring the official properties of Forest Officials. Since then, Sundari has been sedated and kept in an enclosure constructed by the Forest Officials in Angul district of Odisha.
The officials are questioning the alleged poachers and the current incident raises a big question about the management of Odisha’s forest officials. We have to wait and watch whether any more transfer would take place or not. I hope that the accused are brought under justice and they repent for their crimes if committed.
Writer- Ashwini Kumar Singh