Another day where we Indians have failed as humans and should hang our heads in shame. Avni, the tigress is no more and her blood is on our hands. If you don’t know who Avni is and what I am talking about, let me walk you through this story from the start.
The Pandharkawada-Ralegaon forests standing tall in Yavatmal district in the east part of Maharashtra had been going through a lot of disturbance for the past few months. Apparently, the disturbance was caused by the desperate hunt for Avni, an alleged man-eater tigress. A mother of two cubs, Avni/ T1 tigress was accused of allegedly killing 13 people in Maharashtra. Alleged because these 13 people were found deep inside the forest, which is a restricted area. This tells us that it was the humans who trespassed Avni’s territory and not vice-versa. The people who, apparently expected a tiger not have its natural instincts, ordered to kill Avni.
The details of this order are even more horrifying, to say the least. With a shoot on sight order passed for Avni, humanity had now left the room. It is believed that undeterred by the court laws and norms, no wildlife veterinarian was at the sight during the killing and neither was any tranquilizer used. She was shot at point blank using a bait, a cold-blooded murder. The post-mortem reports are yet to be run.
To track Avni was a little difficult, maybe her motherly instincts were strong and she could sense the danger. After all, she was a 5-year-old tigress with two cubs, behaving the way a tigress naturally does.
Although the order was passed months ago, this didn’t stop the people to come forward to save Avni! A Social campaign Let Avni Live was started in protest of the order. A petition too was filed by NGO Prayatna as well as Save The Tiger Campaign in Delhi to oppose this. People claimed that with no proper examination of all 13 bodies, there is no affirmation that Avni was the killer. Still, Avni was killed in a ruthless manner.
Looking at the already declining number of tigers in India, this was no doubt a devastating addition. We need to take a much serious and rational approach to such matters to avoid non-reversible results!