THE “problem tigress” of Brahmapuri, captured last week following a series of attacks on humans, is set to be released back into the wild on Thursday. “We have decided to release her in Bor Sanctuary in Wardha district,” Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF, Wildlife) A K Mishra told The Indian Express.
A special committee comprising veterinary doctors, wildlife activists and forest officials had recommended the release of the sub-adult tigress. The recommendation was accepted by the PCCF.
“Bor is the ideal location since it has a very good prey base and the tigress will have abundant food. Also, due to rains, there is a thick green foliage all around, giving her an ideal habitat to stay. Moreover, the human presence in the 65-sq km forest is the least, with a village, Navargaon, being relocated just two months ago. So we believe, there is a vacancy for a tiger there,” Mishra said.
Bor currently has three tigers and a few cubs. Mishra hoped that the tigress, labelled T27 C1, would be able to find a mate in Bor. To prevent the possibility of any repetition of Brahmapuri-like incidents, the authorities are going to radio-collar the tigress and monitor her movements closely. “We are only managers. The radio-collaring and other things will be taken care of by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and veterinary doctors,” Mishra said.
The tigress had caused panic and anger in the Haladgaon-Padmapur belt of Brahmapuri in Chandrapur district last month by killing two and injuring five persons in a series of attacks. A senior wildlife activist said, “It is a welcome decision as there could be nothing better for a tiger than live in its natural habitat. But since tigers have a great homing instinct, the authorities will have to be constantly on their toes to keep track of its movement.
The obvious risk here is malfunctioning of radio-collar that could disorient the tracking team. Also, the authorities will have to keep the experience of Saigata tigress in mind. The tigress, also from Chandrapur, was released in Navegaon National Park in Gondia district in 2011 but had eventually relapsed into problematic behaviour. She had then crossed over to neighbouring Chhattisgarh where she was stoned and beaten to death by a mob.”