'Sundari' gives sleepless nights to Odisha tribals

Bhubaneswar: The movement of Royal Bengal tigress Sundari close to human habitations is giving sleepless nights to residents of Hatibari and nearby villages in Satkosia forest range of Odisha’s Angul district.

The worried people on Tuesday demanded immediate shifting of Sundari from Satkosia area after the tigress allegedly killed a cow at Lehedi village on Sunday.

“After she killed my cow, the villagers have been living in constant fear. They are unable to even move freely outside and look after their farmlands,” said Sushma Sahu.

Earlier on September 13, Sundari had killed a woman taking a bath in a pond near her house in Hatibari area under Tikarpara forest range.

Another resident of Hatibari Puspa Gadatia stated, “How will we live here with family? We are terribly frightened following the incident.”

The locals alleged that the forest department personnel were not keeping track of the tigress “which is why it is venturing into the human habitation frequently.”

“It becomes difficult for us to move outside due to Sundari. We demand immediate shifting of the tigress. Staff of the Forest department also failed to keep a vigil on Sundari,” alleged Raghu Gadatia, a local.

Satkosia wildlife division forest officer V. Kartik said movement of the tigress was being monitored round the clock.

“When Sundari roams in fringe forests close to the village, additional range officers from Satkosia, Purunakote, and Tikarpada rush to the area to keep track of the animal. Around 40 to 50 people are present in the tracking team,” he said.

Forest department is concerned about the safety of villagers and people should not be afraid of the animal,” he said.

Mr Kartik claimed that compensation has been given to the person whose cow was killed by the tigress.

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