Tiger shot dead in India after allegedly killing 14 people

An Indian Bengal tiger seen in Kaziranga National Park in north-east India, on Dec 21, 2014. After months of searching, a tigress that allegedly killed 14 people in Maharashtra was shot dead on Nov 2, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (XINHUA) - A tigress which is alleged to have killed 14 people in the last one-and-a-half years was shot dead in India's western state of Maharashtra, officials said on Saturday (Nov 3).

The tigress was killed on Friday night after three months of searching in the forest area of Yavatmal district, about 678km east of Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra.

The six-year-old tiger, named Avni, had two cubs. Forest officials had activated ground personnel, drones, elephants and expert shooters to hunt down the tigress, after getting the orders of shoot-on-sight for the wild animal on Sept 4.

"The man-eater animal has been killed," a senior forest official from Nagpur said.

Reports said so far there is no information about her two cubs. Forest officials said the tigress, along with her cubs, had consumed 60 per cent of a human corpse, which ultimately led to the decision of declaring her as a "man-eater" and the passing of orders to kill her on sight.

However, the government order to kill the tigress generated a flurry of online petitions. The decision was challenged by animal rights activists in the Bombay high court, which disposed of the application seeking stay-against orders to shoot the tigress.

The activists later challenged the Bombay High Court order in the Supreme Court of India. However, the top court refused to interfere in the Bombay High Court order.

Officials said the post-mortem of the tigress would be conducted at Nagpur's Gorewada rescue centre.

Wildlife officials said wild animals usually stray into residential areas in search of food. However, the human presence makes the animals insecure and they may resort to attacking people.

At times, these creatures are also attacked and sometimes killed by scared villagers. There are strict laws in force in India against the killing of wild animals.

Wildlife experts say mass urbanisation and deforestation, among other reasons, are responsible for increasing conflicts between humans and animals. Every year, many people are killed or injured in the increasing cases of man-animal conflict across India.

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