"Despite the tiger's 24-hour journey covering about 500 km from from Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, the big cat is found to be healthy and fine. The animal is under watch and kept in an enclosure," Odisha's Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray told reporters in Bhubaneswar on Friday.
Mr Routray said though tigers from one forest to another have been relocated in the past, this is for the fist time a Royal Bengal Tiger has undertaken such a long and tedious journey to reach its destination at Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Angul district.
Stating that the tiger is being monitored round-the-clock, the minister said the Wildlife Institute of India and Kanha Tiger Reserve officials will take a call when the tiger will be released into the wild.
However, senior officials of the forest department are worried since the tiger has not eaten any live prey after it was released in a closed special enclosure on Thursday. "If required, we will supply food from outside the enclosure," an official said.
Forest and environment secretary SC Mohapatra said:"We did not have any male tiger at Satkosia. Now, we will watch how the old tigers are behaving with the guest from Madhya Pradesh. We will monior their movement."
Mr Mohapatra said that three pairs of tigers will be brought from Madhya Pradesh. One male tiger has already come and a female will come soon. All the three pairs will be at Satkosia within two years, he said.
There are two female tigers, aged around 13 years, at Satkosia at present. The tiger population has not been increasing for some years at the Tiger Reserve which was why a male tiger was requisitioned by the state.
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