Tiger couple strands elephant herd in Kuldiha

Posted by: Aditya Chandra Panda on

Sharing an exciting incident that took place in the Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary in Orissa in the month of February:

Tiger couple strands elephant herd in Kuldiha

There was high drama in the Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary in the Balasore district when, early on the morning of 8th February, at around 3 am, a pair of tigers started stalking elephant calves that were part of a herd numbering 42.

The elephants made a protective ring around the calves and reportedly stood up against the tigers for almost 24 hours before the cats retreated into the forest.

Pritam Bhattacharya, part of a three member research team from Calcutta University which was camping in the sanctuary, intimated the forest staff on hearing frantic screams from the agitated herd. A twelve member anti-poaching rushed to the spot to find a mating pair of tigers holding the elephants to ransom.

Kuldiha, which for a long time had been thought to have lost all its tigers is now showing increasing signs of presence of the big cats. Last year a tiger was found poisoned by villagers in the sanctuary and the above incident proves that the cat does seem to have future in the sanctuary.

Kuldiha is adjacent to the Similipal Tiger Reserve and is connected to it through the Nato Hills. They are hence part of the same landscape. This Nato Hills serve as a crucial corridor which elephants, gaur and tigers use. This justifies the need to include Kuldiha as part of the Similipal Tiger Reserve in order for the holistic conservation of the species in this vast landscape by consolidating it.

Source: 09.02.2010, Balasore, The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar Edition), with inputs from Aditya C Panda, Wild Orissa