Clashes broke out after the murder of the tiger. According to media reports, he was shot dead in the Yavatmal Forest without trying to reassure her
MUMBAI, India – In India, a man-eating tiger, which claimed more than a dozen casualties in two years, was shot dead in India, sparking controversy over the legality of his assassination.
One of India's most famous Tiger Hunts for decades ended on Friday night, November 2, when the mother of two ten-month-old boys – known among the hunters as T1, but Avni for wildlife lovers – was shot dead in the jungle of the state of Maharashtra.
A team of more than 150 people had been searching for T1 for months, using a paraglider and dozens of infrared cameras, while snipers rode on elephant backs.
After the murder, however, it quickly came to clashes, as reported in the media, the tiger was shot in the forest of Yavatmal, without trying to reassure them.
The Supreme Court of India issued a hunting order for T1 in September, which has been held responsible for 13 deaths since June 2016. She decided she could be killed if the sedatives failed. Several appeals were filed against the death sentence.
The tiger was killed in the night when, according to the Times of India and other media, no sedatives may be used.
T1 was said to have been shot by Ashgar Ali Khan, son of the most famous Indian hunter Nawab Shafath Ali Khan, who was to lead the hunt but was absent on Friday.
Forest officials and the hunter did not respond to calls to give details of the hunt.
Chief Conservator of Forests A.K. Mishra told The Indian Express newspaper that a forest worker had managed to shoot the tiger at around 11:00 pm with a sedative.
"But she stormed the team and forced Ashgar to shoot in self-defense," he said. "The tigress was dead in a shot."
Self-defense or "murder"?
However, Mishra's reports contradicted other reports, while many groups condemned the manner of killing.
The Times of India quoted sources involved in the hunt with the statement that it looked as if a reassurance arrow had been placed in the body of the tiger after killing. The sources said the arrow had not been fired.
Forest officials confirmed to the Indian media that no veterinarian was present during the hunt, as required by the Order of the Supreme Court.
Jerryl Banait, a vet and activist in Karnataka state who appealed against the Order, described the shooting as a "cold-blooded murder". (READ: More bite for the animal rights law)
"Avni was illegally killed to satisfy the bloodlust of a hunter," said the Indian branch of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
He said that the Wildlife Protection Act in India and the National Tiger Conservation Authority regulations had been disregarded, and demanded that the matter be "investigated and treated as a wildlife crime."
The body of the tiger was taken to a zoo in the city of Nagpur for autopsy.
Despite the controversial circumstances, villages around Pandharkawda were relieved to hear death. (READ: Heart Evangelista: Stiffer punishments for animal cruelty)
T1 claimed her first victim in June 2016, a woman whose body was found on a cotton field. Since then, most of the dead were male shepherds.
India has launched a major campaign to increase tiger numbers. At the last tiger count in 2014, the number had risen from less than 1,500 to more than 2,200.
However, with the growth of the population of 1.25 billion people, the spread in the city has increasingly eaten in the area of wildlife.
According to the government, endangered elephants and tigers kill on average one person a day. – Rappler.com