‘Tried Our Best to Capture Tigress Avni Alive’: Shooter Asgar Ali

Governance       Orphaned tigress Avni’s 10-month-old cubs stare at death or captivity
       	        Sanya Dhingra         3 November 2018

Governance Orphaned tigress Avni’s 10-month-old cubs stare at death or captivity Sanya Dhingra 3 November 2018

Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on Sunday while hiting out at Maharashtra Environment and Forests minister over the killing of the "maneater" tigress Avni said it was a "straight case of crime"."It is nothing but a straight case of crime. Despite several requests from many stakeholders, (Sudhir) Mungantiwar, minister for forests, Maharashtra, gave orders for the killing".

Stating that the tigress had killed 13 people, including eight tribals, since 2016, Mungantiwar said the government had followed the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines in declaring her a man-eater.

The Supreme Court, in September, had said Avni could be shot on sight, prompting a flurry of online petitions.

Gorewada Rescue Centre personnel stand near the body of the man-eating tigress T1, known as Avni to wildlife lovers, at a postmortem room in Nagpur, India, Nov. 3, 2018.

As per the Supreme Court directives, the forest department and officials were required to first tranquilise and trap her, but in Saturday's operations, she allegedly attacked the stalking team which shot her.

She said she will be taking up the matter "very strongly" with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The court ruled that it would not interfere if forest rangers were forced to shoot the tiger.

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When the big cat emerged, she was shot with a tranquiliser. "Every time he has used Hyderabad-based shooter Shafat Ali Khan, and this time his son has also appeared in the scene illegally to murder the tigress".

Asghar Ali Khan told the India Today news outlet that just as his "tranquilizer dart hit her, she charged at our open vehicle and to save life I had to shoot her".

"Avni's killing must be investigated as there are clear violations of Standard Operating Procedures", Neha Sinha, another wildlife conservationist, told CBS News.

"Shafat Ali Khan has killed three tigers, at least 10 leopards, a few elephants and 300 wild boar in Chandrapur, Maharashtra".

Locals in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra celebrated after "man-eater" tigress Avni also known as T-1 was killed using Calvin Klein cologne inside the Pandharkawda forest, Ralegaon, on Friday night. Asgar Ali's involvement in the hunt for Avni was "patently illegal" Maneka said. There are strict laws in force in India against the killing of wild animals. "The tranquilisation too had to be done carefully as we did not want to kill the tigress with an over-dose either", a senior official said.

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