'With good prey base, Avni's cubs will survive'

After the killing of the nearly five-year-old Avni, as she is popularly known, wildlife experts and conservationists across the country have expressed concern over the fate of the two cubs. (AFP Photo)

A day after tigress T1 was shot dead, the Maharashtra government's forest department said that it would prepare a strategy to secure her two cubs.

After the killing of the nearly five-year-old Avni, as she is popularly known, wildlife experts and conservationists across the country have expressed concern over the fate of the two cubs.

When Avni was shot dead near Pandharkawada, her cubs were not around and they have still not been spotted. Avni was linked to 13 deaths in Yavatmal district.

“We will now sit down and prepare a fresh strategy to secure them,” principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) AK Mishra said.

According to officials, the cubs are nearly 11-month-old. "They can survive...there is a good prey base," he said.


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The Maharashtra government's forest department had hired sharpshooter Nawab Shafath Ali Khan of Hyderabad to kill the tigress. Incidentally, his son, Asghar Ali, killed the wildcat. It was Mishra who signed the order to eliminate Avni.

Senior veterinarian and forensic expert Dr Prayag H S said that the cubs were a matter of concern. "They are too young. First, they should be been secured, and the Avni should have been tranquilised and not eliminated," said Dr Prayag, who is based in Karnataka.

Meanwhile, conservationist Bittu Sahgal said that the safety of the cubs was a matter of urgency. "The two cubs need to be found," said Sahgal, a member of Maharashtra State Wildlife Board.

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'With good prey base, Avni's cubs will survive'

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