Activists Protest Tigress Avni's Killing, Forest Officials on Defensive

Activists Protest Tigress Avni's Killing, Forest Officials on Defensive

Activists Protest Tigress Avni's Killing, Forest Officials on Defensive

In September this year, the Supreme Court had said Avni could be shot at sight, which prompted a flurry of online petitions seeking pardon for the tigress. Tigress T1 has left behind two cubs which are over 10 months old, where as, another male tiger, T2, is also believed to be a man-eater.

She was traced with the help of trap cameras, drones, a pack of trained sniffer dogs and a hang-glider along with a team of Forest Department officials in the region of the Tippeshwar Tiger Sanctuary.

The plea also sought revocation of the appointment of Hyderabad-based sharpshooter Shafaqaut Ali Khan for the job, contending that he lacked the experience of tranquillising wild animals.

A team armed with a tranquiliser gun and a firearm was stationed in a vehicle on a road where the tigress, known as T-1, had been spotted by villagers, a Forestry Department statement said. She was shot dead by sharp-shooter Asgar Ali in the Borati forest in Maharashtra's Yavatmal district Friday as part of an operation.

Replying to a query by the bench of justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and S M Modak, he said no deaths have been reported in the last two months because of these measures.

British actor and animal conservationist Dan Richardson, who had planned to organise and hold a march in London on 11 November, said the fight to save the tiger's cubs must continue.

But animal rights activists have been enraged by what they perceive to be the thoughtless killing of an animal vilified to seem like a "man-eater".

The man-eating tigress that terrorized the jungles of central India for two years has been shot and killed, but not without putting up a fight. "It is impossible to have shot the dart with such textbook precision at the most preferred location on the animal's body in darkness", he said.

"In a reflex action of self-defense, the shooter fired from a distance of 8 to 10 meters".

"It is nothing but a straight case of crime", said Gandhi, a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), describing the shooting as a "ghastly murder".

"The Forest Department is not an enemy of the tigress", Mungantiwar said. She tweeted that Maharashtra minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had issued an order to have the tigress killed despite "several requests from many stakeholders" to not do so.

"Instead of lodging a complaint with the chief minister, the Union minister, if she wants, can order a high-level inquiry by a sitting Supreme Court judge or a committee of sitting Supreme Court judges into the incident", said Mungantiwar.

Related news