Posted by Manveena Suri | 12 September 2018 | 2,405 times
A last-ditch attempt to save a "man-eating" tigress is underway in India, following a decision by the country's Supreme Court to grant forest rangers permission to kill the endangered animal in the western state of Maharashtra.
The tigress, known as T1, is believed to be responsible for the deaths of 13 people since January 2016 in the state's eastern Yavatmal district. Three were killed in August alone. In one particularly grisly case, as much as 60% of the victim's body had been consumed by the tigress, according to official records.
India's tiger population is strictly protected and any attempt to kill one of the animals requires approval from authorities under the country's Wildlife Protection Act.
Conservationists, though, had questioned the evidence linking the animal to attacks on humans, forcing the case to the Supreme Court.
In Tuesday's ruling, the court sided with local authorities in allowing forest rangers to shoot the tiger if they fail to capture it, striking a blow to activists and campaigners battling to save the tigress.
Expressing her disappointment at the ruling, conservationist Sarita Subramaniam questioned whether officials would make a fair attempt to tranquilize and capture the tigress, which is also a mother to two cubs, and move them to captivity.
"They (the forest officials) only plan to kill, which we suggested to the court, because they have issued an order to hire a hunter," said Subramaniam, who is the founder of Mumbai-based nongovernmental organization Earth Brigade.
"If your intention is to capture, why have you hired a hunter?"
Officials will also try to tranquilize a male tiger called T2, which has been seen in the same area. T2 is not believed to be responsible for any human deaths.
The tigers were last seen in a conservation area in Yavatmal district. (CNN)
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