Tigress Avni, who is believed to be responsible for the deaths of 14 people in the past two years, has been killed in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal, last night. Avni is survived by her two cubs who are 10 months old. Avni was first spotted in the forests of Yavatmal in 2012.
In September, the Supreme Court had said that Avni or T1, as she is known officially, could be shot on sight. The man-eater has been a cause of concern with the Maharashtra government and environmentalists for the last few months.
Activists across the country have been protesting against the tigress’ killing with online petitions and rallies, using the hashtag #letAvnilive. Alleging that it was wrongly labelled as a ‘man-eater’, they argued “There is no proof that the tiger has eaten 13 people. Also, the animal had not left the forest, so it is the man’s fault for entering their territory.”
For nearly three months, equipped with the latest technology, 150 ground personnel, elephants and so-called expert trackers and shooters were on a quest to find Avni.
A pack of trained sniffer dogs, trap cameras, drones and a hang-glider along with a team of Forest Department officials were active in the vicinity of the Tippeshwar Tiger Sanctuary, as the hunt for the tigress was on.