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Odisha: Jumbos ‘Rajkumar’ & ‘Mahendra’ To Guard Tigress ‘Sundari’

27 January 2019

Diptanshu Dash

Angul: Months of silence after tigress Sundari’s tranquilization, it is finally coming to the fore that two jumbos named ‘Rajkumar’ and ‘Mahendra’ are all set to guard the Royal Bengal Tigress in Satkosia Reserve.

Notably last year in June, Sundari had been relocated from Kanha Reserve in order to increase the population at Satkosia Tiger Reserve. Soon after that, State Government had considered Rajkumar and his son Mahendra’s relocation from Simlipal in Mayurbhanj to Satkosia in Angul to guard the tigress. This had faced widespread opposition and protest from villagers who said that a vacuum would be created in Simlipal.

Expressing concerns over the same, environmentalists had also raised questions as to how an elephant (Mahendra), who is over 50 year old, could give protection to a relocated tiger. Sources said that one of the two elephants also has poor vision.

However, the dispute was solved recently and now the elephants are being brought by forest department after holding talks with local residents, stated reports.

Notably last year, few months after Sundari's relocation, the tigress had been tranquilized in the wake of allegedly mauling two villagers and some cattle to death in the villages nearby. She had then been shifted to Raiguda enclosure to prevent any untoward incident.

After two months, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) expressed displeasure over the tigress being caged. So, jumbo Jashoda from Chandaka was to be relocated to guard the tigress in the open jungle but that plan was halted due to some unknown reason. Finally after months, the plan to shift Mahendra and Rajkumar materialised and all eyes are set on how successful the operation will be.

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