Bhubaneswar: A wild tiger which strayed into Nandankanan Zoo here last month and was trapped, would remain in captivity until its original habitat is identified.
This was decided by a high-level technical committee comprising chief wildlife warden, zoo officials, a member nominated by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), veterinarian and local panchayat functionaries of the area adjoining the zoo.
"The tiger will stay in Nandankanan for the time being. However, the animal will be kept away from the public," Nandankanan Zoo director Sudarshan Panda said.
The state`s chief wildlife warden will take a final decision on the next course of action on the male tiger, he added.
The 6-feet-long Royal Bengal Tiger which was now inside `tiger safari` would be kept at a secluded place, away from the public, Panda said. It had entered the zoo on April 30.
The tiger`s captivity had sparked a controversy as the local people and wildlife activists opposed each other. While villagers staged a demonstration demanding captivity of the tiger inside the zoo, the activists termed it as "illegal" to keep a wild animal caged like this.
The villagers under the banner of Nandankanan Surakshya Parishad moved court and argued that their lives would be in danger if the tiger was released after being trapped.
"Who knows that the tiger will not return to the human habitation area again?" Bijay Patra, president of the Parishad, had asked.