BHUBANESWAR: Mahavir, the male tiger relocated from Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh to Odisha under India’s first ever inter-State tiger relocation, is dead. Its carcass was found in the core of Satkosia Tiger Reserve on Wednesday morning. Unconfirmed reports said the tiger, which was relocated to Satkosia in June, was caught in a snare net. Its death has dealt a body blow to the tiger re-introduction project of the State Government. As the news made the rounds, the entire Wildlife Wing top brass remained incommunicado.
Sources in the Wildlife Wing said, Chief Wildlife Warden Dr Sandeep Tripathi and Field Director of Satkosia Dr Sudarshan Panda rushed to the core area after learning about the development. However, none was reachable.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), under whose monitoring the relocation was carried out, has decided to send in a wildlife conservationist to Satkosia for independent probe into the matter as post mortem will be conducted on Thursday. Member-secretary of NTCA Anup Kumar Nayak also did not respond.
Earlier, the location of Mahavir, earlier known as MB2 in Kanha, was lost for several hours as the tracking team tried to ascertain its position in the core area. The tiger was fitted with a radio collar with a satellite and a VHF chip installed for monitoring its location. When location on the satellite resurfaced and its position was fixed, the teams got worried and rushed only to find it dead.
The much-hyped tiger supplementation project started with relocation of Mahavir. A few weeks later, a tigress Sundari was brought in from Bandhavgarh TR. The female cat was tranquillised earlier this month after public pressure mounted as it killed two persons in two months in the forests.
The Madhya Pradesh Government had agreed to send in three pairs of tigers to Satkosia for supplementation programme. With the recapture of Sundari and now death of Mahavir, the project may well have met with an early demise.