T1 tigress shot dead after it attacked Forest staff: Mungantiwar

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Nov 2018 09:20:29


Staff Reporter,

Sudhir Mungantiwar, Forest Minister, on Sunday responded to the raging controversy over shooting of the menacing T1 tigress which had killed 13 people in past two years. He said that the tigress was shot dead as the last resort when all attempts to tranquilise it failed and it attacked the officials.

The T1 tigress, also known as ‘Avni’, was shot dead on Friday late night by sharp-shooter Asghar Ali in Compartment No 149 of Borati forest in Yavatmal district. As per the reports, Ali initially fired a dart to tranquilise the tigress but as it charged at him and the Forest Department team engaged in the operation, he fired the shot following which the beast died. However, in the past two days, many wildlife lovers have been questioning the killing.

People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India condemned the killing. Meet Ashar, Lead Emergency Response Co-ordinator of PETA issued a statement condemning killing of the tigress. The statement alleged that the tigress was killed ‘illegally’ to ‘satisfy a hunter’s lust for blood’ in ‘possible’ contempt of court and in ‘apparent’ violation of Wildlife Protection Act and the guidelines of National Tiger Conservation Authority. It called for investigation into the matter.

Responding to the criticism, Mungantiwar made it clear that Forest Department did not want to kill the tigress and it was evident from the fact that many staffers were trying for three months to capture it alive. However, discontent brewed among the local farmers and tribals as the tigress had killed 13 people. They were living in the shadow of fear that affected their daily life. The unrest among them was growing with every passing day. Still, the department tried to capture the beast alive. When they sighted the tigress, the team first tried to tranquilise the tigress. But, Mungantiwar told media, as it charged at the team members, it was shot as the last resort.

A PTI report quoted the Forest Minister as saying, “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.”

After killing of the tigress, questions are being raised about the fate of its two cubs. According to Mungantiwar, the cubs were nearly 11 months old. “They are capable of survival in the wild, but the Forest Department will ensure their care,” he added.

Maneka Gandhi slams State Govt over killing of tigress
MANEKA Gandhi, Union Minister for Woman and Child Development, also criticised Maharashtra Government over killing of the problem tigress. The Union Minister took to Twitter and stated that the killing was ‘nothing but a straight case of crime’. She hit out at Sudhir Mungantiwar, Forest Minister of Maharashtra, and tweeted that she would take up the matter ‘the case of utter lack of empathy for animals’. She also warned of taking up the matter ‘legally, criminally as well as politically’.