Odisha has at least 40 Royal Bengal Tigers (RBT) and 318 leopards in different tiger reserves and forests. This was informed by Forest and Environment Minister Shri Bikram Keshari Arukha in a written reply to a question from MLA Shri Ramesh Chandra Chau Patnaik.
While the highest number of 26 RBTs live in Similipal Tiger Reserve, the remaining 14 are located in six other places, he said.
Quoting the 2016 tiger and leopard census, the Minister said the number of male RBTs in Odisha was 13 while 24 female and three cubs have been located in the State. Of the 26 RBTs in Similipal, nine are males, 14 females and three cubs. All these animals are located in core area of the tiger reserve, he said.
Four RBTs comprising one male and three females have been found in Sunabeda Sanctuary while three RBTs each were located in Karanjia and Keonjhar wildlife divisions, the Minister said.
While two RBTs (one male and one female) are in Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary, one RBT each live in Khariar and Sundergarh forests, he said. However, the report of National Tiger Conservation Authority’s (NTCA) in 2014 had claimed that there were 28 big cats in Odisha. The Minister claimed that the State Government has taken several measures to maintain tiger habitation in different places.