This World Tiger Day, there is some good news to savour. Actually, the good news came out in January this year when the results of the latest tiger census were announced: India marked a surprising 30% rise as the countrywide tiger head count found that there were 2,666 animals, up from 1,700 in 2010 and a major improvement on the all-time low of 1,411 in 2006.

There is another reason to celebrate. One tigress that has lived long enough to be called as the star tigress of Ranthambore. Machli, a 17 year old tigress from Ranthambore, Rajasthan has given birth to nine cubs, of them four are male and five female. More than half of the tiger population in Ranthambhore and Sariska tiger reserves of Rajasthan is estimated to be her lineage, as her two female cubs were airlifted to Sariska in 2008 to repopulate tigers. The forest department claims that there are 61 tigers at Ranthambore national park, which means almost 30 tigers in the park are descended from Machli.

Featured in many short films and documentaries, Machli has been awarded the Travel Operators for Tigers, or TOFT Lifetime Achievement Award, for her immense contribution to the nation’s efforts of conserving tigers and Rajasthan’s economy. According to these TOFT award citations, the local economy of Ranthambore swelled by $10 million per annum for 10 years due to the popularity of Machli in national and international fronts. Adding to the popularity of Machli, a postal cover was issued on her in September 2013.

Watch this video of Machli, in an epic fight with a 14-foot long crocodile, before finally killing it.