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Tiger flees Nandankanan zoo in a month

BHUBANESWAR, June 1, 2013, DHNS: 0:54 IST

On its own terms

A tiger from the wild, which was in the news a month ago for having walked into the Nandankanan Zoo and Zoological Park near here, has triggered a sensation again by engineering an escape from an enclosure of the zoo late on Friday night. The incident has turned into a major embarrassment for the zoo authorities.

“The tiger escaped from the zoo after climbing an 18-foot high wired fencing.

We believe it has gone back to the forest area near the zoological park, from where it had come,” said Sudarsan Panda, director of the Nandankanan Zoo and Zoological Park, on Saturday.

Zoo sources said that on Friday night, the big cat was shifted from the tiger safari inside the zoological park to one of the enclosures for a medical check-up. The move is believed to have irritated the animal.

“The tiger was visibly irritated when it was shifted from the safari to the enclosure. Subsequently, it ate the food it was served, and took a dip in the small pond inside the enclosure. It perhaps climbed the wired fencing soon after midnight and escaped,” said a zoo employee. The CCTV had captured the tiger’s photos till about 11.30 pm.
Panic in villages

The news of the tiger’s escape has triggered a panic in the villages around the zoo and zoological park. A few days after the big cat walked into the zoo, local villagers had staged a dharna in front of the zoo demanding that the animal be kept permanently in the zoo.

The Odisha government’s forest department and the zoo authorities were thinking of releasing the tiger back into the wild as per rules. However, the plan was subsequently changed, one of the reasons behind the move being the agitation by local villagers.

The tiger, aged between seven and eight years and believed to have been in search of a partner, had sneaked into the zoo on the midnight of April 29 after roaming around the zoological park for several days. It had also killed domestic animals in nearby villages while waiting for an opportunity to enter the zoo, generating a lot of fear and panic among the villagers.

An official inquiry has already been ordered into the escape.

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