Published: Tue, November 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Man-eating tiger killed in India, sparking backlash from wildlife conservationists

Man-eating tiger killed in India, sparking backlash from wildlife conservationists

Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi on Sunday slammed the Maharashtra government over the "brutal murder" of suspected man-eating tigress Avni and accused it to be a "straight case of crime". "Even if Maneka Gandhi wants an global expert to conduct an inquiry or maybe the Union government can have a probe conducted through National Tiger Conservation Authority", said Mungantiwar.

But the animal rights activists had strongly opposed forest officials' decision to issue a shoot at sight order for the leonine creature and a petition on online platform change.org to save tigress Avni and her two cubs garnered over 54,000 signatures.

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

The six-year-old tiger, named Avni, had two cubs.

A man-eater tigress Avni was killed in Yavatmal district forest of Maharashtra, news agency ANI reported.

Broadcaster NDTV said Avni was killed after a huge operation involving sniffer dogs, trip cameras, nearly 200 people and even a hang glider.

The activists later challenged the Bombay High Court order in the Supreme Court of India.

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The perfume contains a pheromone called civetone that can attract big cats, according to experts.

Questions are also being raised as to why the government brought in controversial big game hunters Ali Khan and his father Shafat Ali Khan.

On the day the tigress died, the minister said a team of forest department officials had gone in search of the tigress and the nawab's son was part of the team.

"Avni's killing must be investigated as there are clear violations of Standard Operating Procedures", Neha Sinha, another wildlife conservationist, told CBS News. Khan was brought in along with his father, a well-known shooter, to work with the Maharashtra forest department. Fadnavis said that people were raising doubts whether she had first been hit with a tranquillizer dart.

Calling it a "ghastly murder", Gandhi added that the younger Ali Khan "was not authorized to kill. Despite the forest officials being committed to tranquilise, capture and qurantine the tigress, the trigger-happy shooter has killed her on his own under orders of Sudhir Mungantiwar".

Even the darting of a wild animal is prohibited at night, between sunset and sunrise, according to rules established by India's National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

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