“Man-eating” tigress Avni was killed on Friday night in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district during a hunt operation by the Maharashtra Forest department, The Times of India reported. The six-year-old animal, called T1, a mother to two nine-month-old cubs, allegedly claimed at least 13 lives in Ralegaon forest in Yavatmal since June 2016.
“Avni was shot dead by sharp-shooter Asgar Ali, son of famous sharp-shooter Nawab Shafat Ali, at compartment no 149 of Borati forest under the jurisdiction of the Ralegaon police station,” PTI quoted an unidentified police official as saying.
The hunt operation incorporated an extensive operation involving 200 personnel, trap cameras, drones, a pack of trained sniffer dogs and a hang-glider to trace her, NDTV reported. Officials will conduct a postmortem at Nagpur’s Gorewada Rescue Centre, ANI reported.
In September, the Supreme Court had refused to stay a shooting order issued by the Bombay High Court order, which permitted the forest department to tranquillise or shoot a “man-eating” tigress. However, The Times of India reported that the shooter violated the top court’s order to first tranquilise the tigress and shoot her dead only as a last resort option. Forest officials are yet to respond to the allegations.
The department is expected to address the media later on Saturday, India Today reported.
Last month, the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur Bench admitted a plea submitted by wildlife activist to capture her alive instead. An online petition was launched against killing the tigress and urged people to prevent her cubs from being killed too.