Tiger shot dead in India after allegedly killing 14 people

Man-eating tigress shot dead in India

Killer tiger shot dead

The tigress is believed to be responsible for the deaths of 13 people over the last two years.

The petitioners had challenged the forest department's order to tranquillise and kill tigress "Avni" (T-1), suspected to be roaming in Pandharkavda forests in Yavatmal district.

Tigress Avni is survived by her two cubs, both over a year old.

Trained sniffer dogs, trap cameras, drones and a hang-glider, expert trackers, sharp-shooters and around 200 ground personnel were roped in for the task.

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AK Mishra, the principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) and state wildlife warden said the tigress was killed on the spot.

T1 is said to have been shot dead by Ashgar Ali Khan, son of India's most famous hunter Nawab Shafath Ali Khan, who was meant to be leading the hunt but was not present Friday night. "When we plan programmes for saving endangered species, they do not say a word". On 11 September, the Supreme Court heard the petitions challenging the Bombay High Court's decision which gave the forest department a go-ahead to implement its order to tranquillize or shoot the tigress.

Earlier, animal rights activists claimed that guidelines were not followed during Avni's killing.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India said the tiger Avni was killed "illegally to satisfy a hunter's lust for blood", in contempt of court and in apparent violation of the Wildlife Protection Act.

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The big cat was blamed for 13 deaths since June 2016 but animal activists said she was trying to protect her young.

On Friday, the Forest Department carried out the operation in Borati with the help of sharp-shooter Asgar Ali.

Meanwhile, speaking to news agency PTI, Mungantiwar on Sunday said, Avni was shot dead as a last resort when all attempts to tranquilise her failed and she attacked officials. "So as a reflex action of self-defence, Mr. Asghar fired from a distance of about 8-10 metres".

However, Maneka Gandhi, the Union minister for women and child development, has disputed the turn of events citing a report in The Print. "I am definitely going to take up this case...legally, criminally as well as politically and will take up the matter very strongly with CM Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis", she tweeted. "The shooter was hired with the intention of killing the tigress, and that is what has happened - it is a cold-blooded murder".

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Shafat Ali Khan, who was first given permission to shoot the tigress, could not be reached on phone for his comments as there was no official word if his son was also allowed to shoot the animal.

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