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Six tigers from MP to make Odisha reserve their new home

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Six tigers will be relocated to Reserve in Odisha's district from as part of the state government's plan to revive big cat population in the protected forest.

The first is scheduled to reach the state next month, said Forest and Minister Bijayshree Routray.

"Initially, just one will be relocated to the reserve from on a pilot basis. The remaining five would be released in Satkosia over a period of time," Routray said.

The 963 sq-km reserve, as of now, has just two tigers, both over the age of 13, of Forest (Wildlife) Sandeep Tripathy said.

The forest has favourable with adequate prey base but the two old tigers are not fit for breeding, he stated.

The (DFO) of Satkosia, SMT Rehaman, however, stated there were contradictory reports over Satkosia's tiger population.

"Earlier, tigers were counted based on pug marks, but now there are camera traps. It is difficult to ascertain the exact number in Satkosia," he explained

According to NTCA estimation in 2010, there were eight (8) tigers in the reserve.

Asked about the reason behind the dwindling population in Satkosia, the DFO said, "The two existing tigers are females and old. That explains why the numbers have fallen."

According to the 2016 tiger census, has 40 Royal Bengal Tigers - 13 males, 24 females and three calves.

If this relocation scheme is successful, the state government may undertake similar efforts in other forests, he said, adding all the six tigers will be relocated in a phased manner, Tripathy said.

"The government of has identified just one male tiger of Khana Tiger Reserve for relocation. The others would be identified in due course of time," he clarified.

Explaining the process of relocation, the principal chief of forest said, "The tigers would be brought in cages and first released in an enclosure with proper fencing. Once they get accustomed to the new environment, they will be released in the wild."

The entire exercise will take place under the supervision of Wildlife Institute of (WII) officials, he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 18:00 IST