Tigress ‘Sundari’ Crisis: 4 Forest Officials Missing, Palpable Tension Prevails In Odisha's Satkosia

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22 October 2018

Bikash Das

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Angul: As the irate villagers of Satkosia forest area are up in arms against the Forest Department after a co-villager has got allegedly mauled by tigress ‘Sundari’, four forest personnel are still missing while four others could somehow manage to get released.

On the other hand, the tranquiliser team is camping at Angul as tension still prevails at the spot even though the Forest Department has planned to tranquilise the tigress and get it back into the enclosure at Rayagada so that both the animal and the villagers are safe and sound.

Talking to media, Odisha PCCF (WL) Sandeep Tripathy said, “The exact reason of the attack can be ascertained from the post mortem report.”

“We have pressed into service one tranquiliser team from Bhubaneswar and another from Similipal. We have also requested the Bandhabgarh authorities in Madhya Pradesh for the tranquiliser team. But, our teams need to be allowed and then only they can be able to capture,” he stated.

He informed, “Our forest officials tried to convince the mob there, but were assaulted. Our eight forest personnel were held hostage. Four could manage to get released after much struggle while four others are still missing.”

“People’s safety is first objective, but security of our staff is always back of our mind. Hence, we request the people to allow the tranquiliser team. We have asked the police to convince the locals there not to venture into the jungle till the tigress is captured by our forest officials,” the Wild Life PCCF stated.

Recounting the mishap, he elaborated, “As per the information received, the attack was reported from Tainsi village of Tikarpada forest range day before yesterday night. The post mortem underway and report awaited. Our concerned DFO and the satellite monitoring team had been to the village. They had warned the Tansai villagers that the tigress was nearby. Despite the warning, the victim had ventured into the jungle and was attacked. It sparked public resentment.”

“Our priority is to tranquilise the tigress and get it into the enclosure in Rayagada. Our tranquiliser team has already left yesterday and camping at Angul. As there is tense situation there, the team is unable to act. The moment we get the go ahead signal from the district administration, we’ll move forth to tranquilise the tigress and put it into the enclosure,” the top Forest officer stressed.

In his media reactions at the State Secretariat here today, Athamallik MLA Sanjeeb Kumar Sahoo said, “I would like to request the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and Central Government to immediately relocate the tigress from the place so that the panicstricken villagers are relieved and the normalcy is restored there. I have been requesting our State Government and today also request. Today I’ll personally meet both the Chief Minister and our Forest Minister for the solution soon.”

He added, “Yesterday, one villager Trinath Sahoo got killed after being mauled by the tigress. Hence, the people of Satkosia are obviously panicky.”

Also Read: Protests Escalate In Odisha's Angul After MP Tigress Sundari "Kills" Man, Injures Journalist

Also Read: Elephant Menace: Herd Tramples Farmer To Death In Sundergarh

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Sanjeeb Sahoo, MLA, Athamallik

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Sandeep Tripathy, PCCF (WL), Odisha