Nagpur: Villagers in and around Yavatmal disrict heaved a sigh of relief when the menacing T1 tigress who claimed 13 lives was finally shot dead last night at 11.45 pm by a sharp shooter. The tigress, for which search operation was launched on September 12, was sighted in compartment number 149, Borati-Warud road in Yavatmal district.
Asghar Ali, son of Nawab Shafath Ali Khan, the sharpshooter, sighted the T1 tigress. He was also involved in the operation to tranquillise the tigress. At the outset, Asghar Ali fired a dart from tranquillising gun, but the tigress roared loudly and charged at him, following which he shot it dead in self-defence.
According to official sources, the menacing T1 tigress was killed on the spot. On receiving information, the top officials of the forest department who were camping at Pandharkawda in Yavatmal district reached the spot. The tigress had killed 13 persons and created terror in Pandharkawda and Ralegaon tehsils of Yavatmal district.
A.K. Misra, principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife), had issued orders to tranquillise the tigress first, and shoot it as the last resort. As many as 90 camera traps were installed at 45 strategic points to get pictures on movement of the tigress and her two cubs.
“Urine of another tigress and American perfume was spread in some part of the compartment, following which Avni came by sniffing it,” an official from the forest department said. The beast and cubs were captured in one of the cameras at Borati in the month of September. However, the team could not sight it for a long time.
“The forest officials initially tried to nab her alive. However, due to dense forest and darkness, they were unable to do so and finally a bullet was fired in which the tigress fell on the spot,” the official said. He added, “After she became motionless, forest officials went close to her and later rushed her to a hospital in Nagpur, where she was declared dead.”
Some wild life enthusiasts had approached the high court and Supreme Court to prevent the killing, but looking at the gravity of the situation and number of deaths the courts rejected their pleas.