Published: Mon, November 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Protests mount over killing of tigress Avni

Protests mount over killing of tigress Avni

But the animal rights activists had strongly opposed forest officials' decision to issue a shoot at sight order for the leonine creature and a petition on online platform change.org to save tigress Avni and her two cubs garnered over 54,000 signatures.

For almost three months, 150 ground personnel, elephants and so-called expert trackers and shooters were on a hunt to find Avn as she had killed 13 people over the last two years in the region.

The state forest department had hired an expert hunter and sharpshooter, and mounted an extensive operation involving almost 200 personnel, trap cameras, drones, a pack of trained sniffer dogs and a hang-glider to trace her, broadcaster NDTV reported. The sources said the dart had not been fired. Her fate eventually landed at the doorstep of the Supreme Court, which said the tigress may be killed only if all efforts to tranquilise her fail.

Avni was shot dead by the shooter Asgar Ali, the son of well-known sharp-shooter Shafat Ali Khan.

Officials said that they believed the animal had developed a taste for humans as victims had chunks of flesh bitten from them - these people do know that tigers are carnivores, right?

It said India's Wildlife Protection Act and National Tiger Conservation Authority rules had been flouted, calling for the matter to be "investigated and treated as a wildlife crime".

The post-mortem had revealed it was a six-year-old big cat weighing around 91 kgs which had killed two persons and left three injured in the area.

Elsewhere, TV footage showed locals celebrating and distributing candies, saying they were relieved that the terror unleashed by the tigress was over.

Following the death of tigress, he said, "We will save the cubs as SC has directed us". The tigress was hunted down in the forests of Maharashtra's Yavatmal district on Friday as part of an operation. Hit by a bullet, the tigress fell on the spot.

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on Sunday lashed out at the BJP-led Maharashtra government for killing Avni.

Reacting to the killing of Avni, Gandhi in a series of tweets lashed out at the Maharashtra government for giving the orders to kill her despite opposition from several stakeholders. Every time he has used the Hyderabad shooter, Shafat Ali Khan and this time his son has also appeared on the scene illegally to kill the tigress.

Her remains have reportedly been taken to a zoo to be autopsied.

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