A day after Union Minister Maneka Gandhi lashed out at the Maharashtra government over the killing of tigress Avni, another tigress in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) area was beaten to death and run over with a tractor, after the animal attacked a local resident, officials said.
Devanand (50) was critically injured after being attacked by the tigress at Chaitua village. He died during treatment at a district hospital.
Confirming the killing of the animal by the villagers, Mahavir Kaujlagi, deputy field director of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve said, “The carcass of the tigress has been found and appropriate legal action is being taken in the matter, including registration of FIR against the errant villagers”.
Ramesh Kumar Pandey, field director of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, also took cognisance of the incident. He said appropriate action will be taken in the matter.
Earlier on Saturday, Avni, a five-year-old alleged man-eater tigress who had created terror in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha forests, was shot dead in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district.
Avni’s death came after nearly three months of a massive tigress-hunt along with trap cameras, drones, a pack of trained sniffer dogs and a hang-glider along with a team of forest department officials and spotters.
A fertile and healthy tigress, she was protecting her two 10-month old dependent cubs in the vicinity of the Tippeshwar Tiger Sanctuary, since the past several weeks till she was shot down.
In a series of tweets, Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi termed the killing of the tigress a “ghastly murder” and slammed Maharashtra Minister of Forests Sudhir Mungantiwar for giving the order for the killing of the tigress.
In September this year, the Supreme Court had said Avni could be shot at sight, which prompted a flurry of online petitions seeking pardon for the tigress.
Besides PILs in the Supreme Court and Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench), several wildlife groups and activists had strongly opposed plans to eliminate Avni since it would also mean near-certain death for her two dependent young ones.
(With PTI inputs)