MP, Odisha war over Sundari

While a Maharashtra tiger is slowly adjusting to solitary confinement at Van Vihar Bhopal for three human kills, the stand-off has deepened between the Madhya Pradesh and Odisha governments over translocated tigress ‘Sundari’, who was captured on similar charges.

The Odisha forest department has sent reminders to Madhya Pradesh to “take this tigress back”, but officers here are said to be reluctant. Now, National Tiger Conservation Authority has been asked to decide its fate, said sources.

Sundari was shifted from MP’s Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve to Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha’s Angul district on June 28, 2018, and was released in the wild on July 6. She had been moved to Odisha a week after translocation of MB2 — a male tiger from Kanha. This pair was part of the country’s first inter-state tiger translocation project. Sundari was captured by Odisha forest officials on November 6, 2018, after it killed two people in the STR core area. MB2 was killed by poachers a week later.

“We have sent our opinion that we won’t be able to take it back. It cannot be rewilded,” said a wildlife officer in MP. Odisha officials say they are waiting for NTCA’s decision. “NTCA has to decide about the translocation of animals to Kanha. Based on their decision, the state will take further action,” Ramaswamy P, DFO, Satkosia wildlife division said.

NTCA had initially okayed the translocation of six tigers from MP to Odisha, but only two were shifted. The Rs.26 crore worth project – shared between Centre and state governments – has now been suspended following furious protests by Odisha villagers.

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