In September, the Supreme Court refused to suspend shoot-on-sight orders for Avni, mother to two 10-month cubs, prompting a flurry of online petitions.
The hunt for the tigress was on, with the help of trap cameras, drones, a pack of trained sniffer dogs and a hang-glider along with a team of Forest Department officials in the vicinity of the Tippeshwar Tiger Sanctuary.
A statement explained that a tranquilliser dart was sacked at the animal. The tigress is said to have killed 13 persons in Pandharkawda.
The PCCF order had stated that tigress' cubs should be tranquillised first, as opposed to the CCF order which said the big cat should be tranquillised first.
A police official said Avni was shot dead by sharp-shooter Asgar Ali, whose father Nawab Shafat Ali was also a famous sharp-shooter. The India unit of animal rights organisation PETA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - said that Avni was killed "in possible contempt of court and in apparent violation of the Wildlife Protection Act and the guidelines of National Tiger Conservation Authority", PTI reported.More news: Rafa Withdraws From Paris; Novak Set To Return To No. 1
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Animal rights activists have also expressed concern over Avni's being shot and not tranquilised. Her cubs weren't with her. Even a press release issued by the department on Saturday made no mention of the cubs.
Last night, from 6.45 pm onwards, the tigress was sighted by many villagers. Once the team was certain of the tigress' identity after having seen it "for fraction of the time", but "several times", one member, identified as Sheikh, attempted a dart that hit it but the tigress moved back and charged the team which was in an open Gypsy. Calling it a 'straight case of crime, ' Gandhi said that despite 'several requests from many stakeholders, ' Maharashtra Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had chosen to give orders for the killing of Avni. The tigress was hunted down in the forests of Maharashtra's Yavatmal district on Friday as part of an operation.
However, Maneka Gandhi, the Union minister for women and child development, has disputed the turn of events citing a report in The Print. Every time he has used the Hyderabad shooter, Shafat Ali Khan and this time his son has also appeared on the scene illegally to kill the tigress.
The cologne, tested with success on jaguars at the Bronx Zoo, got spritzed in areas of the western state of Maharashtra where the killer tigress was suspected of hiding.