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Tigress Avni shot after she attacked forest staff: Mungantiwar

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Avni was shot dead as a last resort when all attempts to tranquilise her failed and she attacked officials, said Sunday.

The tigress, T1, as she was known officially, was shot Friday night by sharp-shooter in compartment no 149 of under the jurisdiction of station in the state's Yavatmal district.

Speaking to PTI, Mungantiwar said nobody in the wanted to kill the and, thus, hundreds of personnel from the department were trying to capture her alive since the last 3 months.

He added that there was unrest among local farmers and Adivasis after she had reportedly killed 13 people in the past two years.

"Ministers and secretaries do not sit in and protect forest and animal species. It is done by farmers and Adivasis. In this case, there was a lot of unrest among them. We didn't want them to eventually become enemies of wildlife," Mungantiwar said.

He added that all possible means were tried to capture the animal, but it had to be shot down to save the lives of forest staff trying to tranquilise her.

He further said the right to kill wild species did not lie with his department and that the Centre and the have laid down stringent guidelines for the purpose.

After following these guidelines and holding deliberations with concerned officials, the of Forest gives an order to shoot an animal.

When queried about the two cubs of the deceased tigress, Mungantiwar said that the two were now nearly 11 months old and capable of survival in the wild.

"Yet, the will ensure their upkeep," he said.

Taking a dig at NGOs criticising the killing of Avni, the said the government has been at the forefront of saving tigers on a mission mode and has roped in film megastar for the purpose.

"When we plant trees, NGOs do not come forward and lend a helping hand. When we plan programmes for saving endangered species, they do not say a word. We could not have let humans die to save an animal," he said.

In September this year, the had said Avni could be shot at sight, which prompted a flurry of seeking pardon for the

Animals rights organisation condemned the killing. Its Lead Emergency Response Coordinator, Meet Ashar, in a statement Saturday said, "Avni was killed illegally satisfying a hunter's lust for blood in possible contempt of court and in apparent violation of the Wildlife Protection Act and the guidelines of "

"This matter must be investigated and treated as a wildlife crime. Whether sanctioned by the state or not, nobody can be above the law. This is a dark day for our nation and we must hang out heads in shame now and again if this killing goes unpunished," the functionary said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, November 04 2018. 14:55 IST