Odisha: Locals in Satkosia allege newly shifted tigress killed woman, thrash forest officials

Odisha: Locals in Satkosia allege newly shifted tigress killed woman, thrash forest officials

The Royal Bengal Tigress relocated from Madhya Pradesh to Odisha’s Satkosia in a pilot inter-state transfer in the country has allegedly killed a local, leading to a law and order situation in the area.

The deceased woman, identified as Kailashi Garnayak of Hatibari village in Tikarpara range under Anugul district went missing when she was taking a bath in a pond. A search party of locals discovered her body, which they say bore injuries that could only be made by a big animal.

On Wednesday, few angry locals burnt a building owned by the forest department and thrashed forest officials, after they discovered the body.

Anugul Collector Anil Samal said, “there is a disturbance in the area following reports of the tiger killing a woman. We are assessing the situation”. Senior forest officials, who had rushed to the spot to investigate the alleged manhunt, did not respond to requests for comment.

In August, Odisha Forest Department officials told The Indian Express that the newly released big cats in Satkosia Tiger Reserve were under threat from villagers, who might attack the animals fearing their safety and of their cattle. The officials said some villages surrounding the reserve were living in fear of the tigress, named Sundari, who has frequently strayed into the farms of some villagers, eyeing their cattle.

The tiger reserve comprises of two contiguous sanctuaries in central Odisha — Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary and Baisipalli Sanctuary — covering an area of around 900 square kilometers, bordering scores of villages. In June, a 195 kg tiger was shifted from Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh to Satkosia, the first case of inter-state relocation. Days later, a tigress was also relocated from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve.

At the time, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Sandeep Tripathy told the Indian Express that there is no cause for concern as the place has no history of tigers attacking humans.

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