Lakhari Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
The wildlife sanctuary has an area 118 km2 (46 sq mi), in the Lakhari Valley of the Eastern Ghats range. The plant communities include coastal Sal (Shorea robusta) forests and mixed deciduous forests. Lakhari Valley is located in the Eastern Highlands moist deciduous forests ecoregion.
Villagers staying near the gate of the sanctuary report the absence of any significant wildlife in the region belonging to chandragiri range.
Tiger spotted outside Lakhari Sanctuary
Villagers of Rangamatia under Mohana block in Gajapati district claimed that they spotted a tiger once again in the Lakhari sanctuary area on Saturday.
The claim reaffirmed Forest Department officials’ earlier assertion about the presence of a big cat in the area. “We were surprised to see a tiger roaming around the sanctuary area. Our first thought was that one of the tigers of the Lakhari sanctuary had come outside,” said Rama Dalabehera, Panchayat Samiti member of Mohana block.
Forest officials said they had received information regarding sighting of the wildcat. “We were unable to go into the nearby forest area as it was already evening. Tomorrow, we will conduct an inspection to find out whether the animal seen by villagers was indeed a tiger or not,” said Mohana Forest Ranger G Ananta Rao.
In October, the forest department had claimed to have spotted pugmarks of a wildcat in the Mohana forest range. Later, Chandragiri forest officials also made a similar claim stating they had come across several pugmarks of tiger and a cub in the sanctuary area sometime between October last week and November first week.
On November 21, one Nandakishor Paik had also asserted that he had seen a tiger sleeping near a college in Mohana. He had also stated that the tiger crossed the road and went into the jungle as a truck came near it.
Badasindhba GP villagers had suspected that a big cat killed many cows in the forest. Presence of a big cat in the forest area has left villagers in a state of fear. “Most of us stay indoors after evening, fearing attack from the tiger,” said Nandi Beera, a resident of Rangamatia village.
- Negi, Sharad Singh (1993). Biodiversity and Its Conservation in India. Indus Books. p. 244.
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