9 teams set up to secure Avni's cubs

9 teams set up to secure Avni's cubs

Five days after tigress Avni was shot dead, the Maharashtra government has ramped up efforts to secure her cubs. PTI file photo

Five days after tigress Avni was shot dead, efforts have been intensified by the Maharashtra government's forest department to secure her two cubs in the forests of Yavatmal.

According to the reports reaching here, pug marks of the cubs were noticed by the officials near the place were she was shot. The pug marks indicate that they are in good health, officials said.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra's Finance, Planning and Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said that efforts are underway to secure them. "Nine teams have been formed to secure the cubs," he said. Trap cages are being set up.

Mungantiwar's statement comes close on the heels of Nawab Shafath Ali Khan, the Hyderabad-based shikari and sharpshooter, claiming in newspaper interview that the cubs, too, are man eaters.

"...They are no longer cubs, they are semi-adults. Unfortunately, it was found that they too, are man-eaters. The last three humans killed were by the cubs.  This has been scientifically proven by a saliva test. Adult tigers attack humans on thighs and eat flesh. Cubs tend to attack the neck and the face...," he was quoted saying.

Earlier, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) A K Mishra said that  the Pandharkawada area has a good prey base and the cubs would survive, but all efforts are being made to secure and rehabilitate them.