Rejecting the tiger census for the state by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Odisha government on Saturday claimed that the number of big cats in the state are around 60.
"We do not accept the NCTA report which put the number of tigers at 28. The NCTA released the report basing on the data alone from the Similipal National Park. It did not take the tigers in other places like Atgarh, Kuldhia and Satkosia forests," said SS Srivastava, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife).
The All India Tiger Estimation Report, 2014 released in January 2015 reported a fall in Odisha's tiger population to 28 from 32 in 2010 and 45 in 2006.
The state has three tiger reserves - Similipal, Satakosia and Sunabeda. However, tiger counting in Sunabeda reserve could not be done due to the presence of Maoists in the area, official sources said.