Experts Furious at Govt-Backed Execution of Tigress Avni

Avni or T-1

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

She added, If the Environment and Forest Minister resorts to killing of animals instead of protecting them, he is definitely failing in his duty.

Using the hashtag #Justice4TigressAvni, Gandhi wrote, "He has been doing this regularly and this is the third tiger being murdered besides several leopards and wild boars".

Maharashtra Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, who had objected to Gandhi's criticism of the state government over the killing, on Tuesday told CNN News18 that the Union minister should quit for failing to prevent malnourishment cases in the country.

The forest department on Friday carried out the operation in Borati with the help of Asgar Ali, he said.

The urine of another tigress and perfume were used to lure Avni to her hunters before she was killed, a police official told NDTV.

However, she is said to have attacked the team who found her and she was shot by Ashgar Ali Khan, the son of India's most famous hunter Nawab Shafath Ali Khan.

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Officials were required to tranquillise and trap the tigress first under a ruling by India's supreme court.

Ms Gandhi added that she had been speaking to Mr Mugantiwar on the issue of alleged maneater tigress Avni for the past two months and requesting the minister to have the tigress tranquillised and quarantined.

He claimed that Maharashtra's tiger population had gone up by around 25 per cent in the last four years due to various initiatives of the state government since he took charge as the forest minister.

Jerryl Banait, a vet and activist in Karnataka state who had launched appeals against the order with NGO Earth Brigade Foundation and the National Tiger Conservation Authority, described the shooting as "cold-blooded murder". "Hence, this is only lack of information that such baseless charges are being levelled by our central leader", Mungantiwar said. "Mungantiwar had not gone there in person to kill the tigress", the chief minister said. The tigress killed another 10 people since 2016, leaving residents fearing for their lives. "We didn't want them to eventually become enemies of wildlife", Mr. Mungantiwar said. "If we are not satisfied [with the description of events] on whether the animal was executed following established procedure, we will conduct our own investigation", Arup Nayak, the authority's director told The Hindu.

"It is nothing but a straight case of crime".

Reacting to the killing of Avni, Ms Gandhi earlier, in a series of tweets, had lashed out at the Maharashtra government for ordering to kill the tigress despite opposition from several stakeholders.

She had said she was going to take up the matter "very strongly" with the Maharashtra chief minister.

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