Patrolling in the Satkosia Tiger Reserve is set to be strengthened as two trained elephants would be deployed there shortly.Trained elephants will help ground-level forest guards patrol deep in the forest where jeeps cannot go.The two elephants are being brought from the Similipal Tiger Reserve.“We are mobilising a few trained elephants as per the guidelines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority. The elephant deployment in STR at present has no connection with the possible release of tigress Sundari, imported from Madhya Pradesh, from the special enclosure set up inside Satkosia,” said Sandeep Tripathi, Principal Chief Conservator Forest (Wildlife).Sources in the Forest and Environment Department said the authorities did not want to leave any stone unturned before approaching the NTCA for resuming the ambitious tiger reintroduction programme in Satkosia.The tiger reintroduction programme in STR had run into rough weather following the death of India’s first inter-State translocated tiger last year.The Odisha government had planned to bring six tigers (three male and three female) from Madhya Pradesh to increase the feline population in Satkosia. Last year, one pair of big cats was brought to Satkosia.However, the programme did not go as per plan. While the tiger T1 reportedly died after falling into a poaching trap, there was huge discontentment among villagers residing in the buffer areas over the frequent straying of the tigress into human habitation. As the situation went out of control following a human kill, the tigress was captured. Subsequently, the programme was put on hold.
Sania Mirza will join the team for the individual competition.With the cream of Indian men’s tennis choosing to skip the Asian Games citing professional commitments, medal prospects need to be discussed with a pinch of salt. The second-string team is likely to find it tough against quality opposition from some of the best in the continent when the team events begin on Saturday.This is not the first time tennis players have played truant. Even at Guangzhou 2010, Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna had opted out.Whether it was indifference to the Asian Games or the attraction of money and ranking points on the professional circuit, the absence of the stalwarts turned out to be a blessing in disguise.Somdev Devvarman and Sania Mirza spearheaded a memorable campaign in the Chinese city and returned with an unexpected haul of five medals, including two gold. Sania is a much different player now than what she was four years ago. She has given up singles and made a mark as a doubles specialist. But she has not hit a single ball with her prospective women’s doubles and mixed doubles partners she will pair up with at the Asian Games.If anyone needs to be blamed for the current state and how the senior pros have behaved, it is the All India Tennis Association.Each time it comes to the Olympics, we have heard a lot from the federation about pride in playing for the country. The Asian Games tennis competition may not be as prestigious as the Olympics, but it is a major event for the continent.advertisementIf one looks back at the 1998 Asiad in Bangkok, the 2002 edition in Busan and Doha 2006, the presence of Leander and Mahesh did lend charm to the competition. But what remains etched in memory is the duo’s spat in front of the cameras after winning the gold in Doha!For the likes of Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni, this is a great opportunity to emulate what Vishnu Vardhan did in Guangzhou. Relatively unknown before the Games, Vardhan reached the podium when he partnered Sania for a silver in the mixed doubles.This time too, the lady from Hyderabad will be key.
Transfers Barcelona unveil Coutinho at Camp Nou Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 03:53 1/8/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(12) Getty Images Transfers Philippe Coutinho Barcelona v Levante Barcelona Primera División The La Liga leaders have provided the first glimpse of the club’s big-money signing from Liverpool Philippe Coutinho has been presented as a Barcelona player for the first time.The Catalan giants have agreed a deal reportedly worth up to £142 million with Liverpool to bring the Brazilian playmaker to Camp Nou, after a series of bids failed in August.Coutinho will be formally unveiled on Monday, with a photo shoot on the Camp Nou pitch to be followed by a press conference. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player But Barca offered a glimpse of Coutinho in Barcelona colours in a video posted to the club’s official Twitter account after Sunday’s home win against Levante.Coutinho is shown walking out on stage and posing for the cameras, waving to the photographers and offering a double thumbs-up for the flashbulbs.The 25-year-old then sent a message to his new club’s fans ahead of Monday’s formalities.”Hi Barcelona fans, I’m already here,” Coutinho said. “It’s a dream come true and I hope to see you tomorrow.”Without Coutinho, Barca beat Levante 3-0 to stretch their cushion at the top of the La Liga table to nine points, with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Paulinho on the scoresheet.Coutinho at Camp Nou https://t.co/mS3XwRPpjs — FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 7, 2018 “He has arrived at the club he always wanted to be at,” said Barca forward Luis Suarez, Coutinho’s former Liverpool team-mate.”I am delighted because I have a great relationship with Philippe. We have to make him feel at home because sometimes it is very tough to change clubs.”Everyone knows the talent he has — he has been in brilliant form over the last few years. He is a professional, 200 per cent, and has proven his worth as a player.”