Mumbai: The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal to restrain forest rangers from killing a six-year-old tigress in the western region of Maharashtra, which was declared a “man-eater” by the state forest department. The apex court said that since the forest rangers were forced to shoot the tigress after failing to tranquilise it, the court would not interfere.
The Asian Age had reported last week that wildlife activist Dr Jerryl Banait on Friday moved a special leave petition (SLP) in the SC against the high court’s order, allowing the forest department to shoot tigress Avani from the Ralegaon forest region of Yavatmal if it failed to tranquilise it and capture her two cubs.
The chief wildlife warden A.K. Mishra last week gave a “shoot at sight” order to the forest department, stating that the tigress was responsible for killing three grazers in August. While Dr Banait accepted the Supreme Court order, he asserted that such shooting would endanger tigers even in case of chance encounters.
“There can be more cases of chance encounters. Will the forest department shoot the tigers even then? Our only appeal was to tranquilise the tigress and relocate it with the cubs. It would have prevented such attacks. Moreover, the forest department is bringing private shooters for shooting tigers. Is the forest department not equipped with tranquilising guns? This will only increase cases of shooting by private hunters which we used to see during the 1970s,” said Dr Banait. He also said that not enough measures were being taken to tranquilise the tigress.