Hours after tigress Avni was shot dead at the orders of Maharashtra government, the Shiv Sena on Saturday wanted to know why the government didn't focus on capturing the tigress.
Incidentally, the Shiv Sena's registered party symbol is a tiger.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray's son Aditya lashed out at Sudhir Mungantiwar, finance, planning and forest minister, for the animal's killing.
"So what exactly is the difference between poachers/ trophy hunters and the government officials who shot down and killed Tigress Avni ? Just that the government officials and the forest ministry is supposed to protect animals and forests from these poachers, not get inspired by them," Aditya, a Sena leader and Yuva Sena president, said.
According to him, human-animal conflict exists world over but it’s the duty of this very ministry to resolve such conflicts without hurting humans or wild life.
"I want the minister to ask his officials handling this issue, and then answer the people directly on: if they could get a shot, so perfect to murder Avni, why couldn’t this expert blood thirsty hunter dart the tigress and tranquilise her?," he wanted to know.
"Whoever this expert hunter was, what a good shot! But such a perfect shot on a moving animal like a tiger that’s swift and apparently killing humans in sight needs practice. Where does he practice killing animals? And more importantly thereafter, was the tigress shot from a machaan? Or face to face just before it could kill him? Then surely darting was an option," he said.
As a family of wild life lovers and conservationists, we had been coordinating internally to stop this hunt, he said.
"The tigress could’ve been easily tranquillised and relocated. We didn’t speak publicly so as to not make it political or personal. It still isn’t. It’s about our nature," he said.