Bhubaneswar: The top forest officials in the state are heaving a sigh of relief as the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has opined that the death of the Royal Bengal Tiger (RBT) Mahabir is not due to any negligence on the part of the forest employees.

Sources in the state wildlife department, the NTCA has concluded that a pointed stump of a tree had caused the wound in the collar region of the tiger. The would got infected leading to the death of the tiger. The NTCA has ruled out that the radio collar caused the injuries.

The NTCA, however, is waiting for the postmortem report to take a final conclusion on the issue.

Meanwhile, the NTCA has asserted that the  inter-state tiger translocation project will continue. The project was suspended following the death of Mahabi.

NTCA IG Amit Mallick said that the tiger translocation project will resume after meeting with the state government and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII).

Mallick leading a team comprising of WII experts had visited Satkosia to probe into the death of Mahabir, the first RBT brought to Odisha from Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh under the inter-state tiger translocation programme in June.   A team visited the spot where Mahabir was found dead on November 14. The carcass of the big cat was found in Raiguda range on Hindol-Narsinghpur border with wound marks on its neck on Wednesday.