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Man-eating tigress Avni shot deadTelegraph India
06 November 2018, 11:35 | Erica Roy
Governance ‘Trigger-happy’ hunter’s son kills tigress Avni but no one’s saying how he got there
Sanya Dhingra 3 November 2018
According to a release from the Maharashtra Forest Department (MFD), its officials received "many" phone calls from people near Boarati village on the Borati-Warud-Ralegaon road in Pandharkawda that the tigress was moving about.
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".
But the animal rights activists had strongly opposed forest officials' decision to issue a shoot at sight order for the leonine creature and a petition on online platform change.org to save tigress Avni and her two cubs garnered over 54,000 signatures.
The 6-year-old tigress, officially named T1 but dubbed "Avni" (which means Earth in Hindi) by conservationists, was linked to at least 13 human deaths over the last two years.
The Supreme Court refused to issue any such directions but it did note that the forest department could kill Avni only as a last resort.
The killing has sparked massive outrage and raised a debate over tiger conservation efforts. "Every time he has used Hyderabad-based shooter Shafat Ali Khan, and this time his son has also appeared in the scene illegally to murder the tigress". While wildlife enthusiasts and experts cried foul over the incident, the Maharashtra Forest Department defended it saying the tigress was killed in "self-defence'".
Activists questioned why a private hunter - Nawab Shafat Ali - was hired by the Maharashtra government to nab Avni.
"The moment tranquilliser dart hit her she charged at our open vehicle and to save life I had to shoot her [sic]", Ali said a day after killing Avni. "Despite the forest officials being committed to tranquilize, capture and quarantine the tigress, the trigger-happy shooter has killed her on his own".
India is home to the world's largest number of tigers in the wild.
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The partnership will also include other Kenyan universities besides exploring opportunities in agricultural value addition. But it is "unlikely to have much impact" on its politically sensitive trade balance with the United States.