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Similipal Tiger Reserve zeroes in on sites for strayed tiger

 The Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) authorities have zeroed in on two sites in the habitat to release a Royal Bengal Tiger that is currently housed at Nandankanan. The STR authorities have sent the details to the state government. Since the tiger is likely to be released in the wild with a radio collar, the sites are under active consideration of the government. "I will discuss the tiger's shifting with the forest secretary and principal chief conservator of forests in a day or two. I will go through the progress made by my predecessor in this regard," said forest and environment minister Bikram Arukh.

 

The two sites selected by STR are Nawana (north) range and Chahala range. "We have selected the two sites in view of the density of prey population. Also, these two sites are free from human interference. There are many water bodies and density of the forest is standard," said STR field director Anup Nayak. Either of the two places will be suitable for the big cat to sustain itself, he added. "Once the government decides on the site, we will train three forest staffers for the tiger's post-release monitoring," he said.

 

Officials in wildlife wing said a team of scientists from Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, would come to Bhubaneswar to take a final call on the shifting. They will bring radio collar with them. The tiger had strayed into the zoo on April 30 last year. But it fled the zoo, scaling the enclosure fence after 10 days only to come back after three weeks.

 Times of India, Delhi, 9th June 2014