Man-eater tigress Avni killed in Yavatmal

While Avni was killed, her cubs' fate is currently unknown.

The elusive tigress T1, popularly known as Avni of Pandharkawada - that claimed 13 lives in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra - has been shot dead.

Described as a man-eater,  a massive manhunt for her was underway, since the last two months.

According to reports reaching here, the tigress was shot dead by Ashgar Ali, the son of Hyderabad-based sharpshooter Nawab Shafath Ali Khan.

In fact, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) A K Mishra, who is based in Nagpur, had been camping in Pandharkawada municipal town since the past 45 days.

T1 was shot dead in the Forest Development Corporation, Maharashtra, compartment no. 149, Borati, around 2300 hrs late on Friday night.


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In the wee hours of Saturday between 0100 and 0300, the spot panchanama was conducted and the carcass was shifted to the Gorewada Rescue Centre in Nagpur.

The whereabouts of the two cubs of the five-year-old Avni is not yet known. "We are concerned about the whereabouts of the two cubs," said Dr Prayag HS, the Karnataka-based veterinarian and forensic expert.

The Maharashtra government's Forest department would send a report to the National Tiger Conservation Authority.

Several lakhs were spent in the operation - and almost everything was tried - use of thermal drones, perfumes, sniffer dogs, paraglider and camera traps. More than 250 persons were part of the operations.

More than 5,000 persons live in the 20-odd villages and hamlets around the Pandharkawada - and since the last one year, people were living in fear.

 

 

In the last one-and-a-half years, the tigress had reportedly claimed 13 lives. In fact, for Maharashtra"s finance, planning and forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, addressing the issue was a major challenge.

The matter had also reached the Bombay High Court with Dr Jerryl Banait and Mumbai-based Earth Brigade Foundation filing a PIL before the Nagpur bench. Online campaign too were launched to save her. Wildlife experts had said that the security and safety of cubs are important - and the focus should have been on tranquilising and capturing rather than eliminating her.

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Man-eater tigress Avni killed in Yavatmal

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