The male Royal Bengal Tiger that had been brought to the Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha from Kanha Tiger Reserve of Madhya Pradesh in what was termed the first-of-its-kind inter-state wild-to-wild translocation in June was found dead in core area of the forest.
Reliable sources said the tiger, which was constantly tracked over the last five months, had been immobile for some time. Tracking devices showed it at one particular spot for a long time raising suspicion.
It was only on Wednesday afternoon that some forest officials decided to move closer and ascertain if their devices were malfunctioning or something had happened to the tiger.
They found the big cat deep in the core area of the forest lying immobile. They realised it was dead.
Though forest officials were unavailable for confirmation, the informed sources said the tiger that had been under vigil and close monitoring for the last five months and had “settled” in Satkosia forests mating with a female was spotted dead. It had wounds on its neck and had perhaps been attacked by another wild animal, resulting in maggots and death, said the sources who ruled out poaching.
It may be recalled that the second big cat translocated to Satkosia — a tigress from Bandhavgad in Madhya Pradesh — had to be tranquilised earlier this month following public outrage as it had allegedly killed two persons.
The tigress is now safe and doing fine in an enclosure after the tranquillisation.
The Satkosia Tiger Reserve was scheduled to receive four more tigers from MP in phases.
However, with reports of the death of the male from Kanha, the unique wild-to-wild tiger translocation done after detailed a study by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the Wildlife Institute of India and tiger experts appears to have failed.
On 21 June, the majestic wild Royal Bengal tiger aged around 3 was brought to the Satkosia reserve in Odisha’s Angul district from Kanha Tiger Reserve in MP. It was transported in a special vehicle equipped with temperature and moisture control. The 24-hour road journey had been monitored by tiger experts from MP and the WII, besides wildlife officers from MP and Odisha. A team of veterinary doctors was also present all along.
After staying in an enclosure for around two weeks, the tiger was released into the wild on 7 July.