Times News Network, 13 October 2018
The forest department’s move to kill Avni, or T1, the in Yavatmal that has allegedly turned a man-eater, is being opposed by experts and animal lovers in the
Animal lovers have signed online pleas opposing the department’s shoot-at-sight plan.
Debi Goenka, executive trustee of Conservation Action Trust, pointed out that all human killings in this case took place inside the forest, within the tiger territory. “The tigress would treat any human movement near the cubs as a direct threat and may react accordingly. I also understand that the ministry of environment and forest has written to the state government on this issue stating that a man-eating tiger has to leave its own habitat, enter human territory, prowl on humans, and feed on them, habitually. Only then it can be called a ‘man-eater’,” he said.
Goenka added that the forest department should have done a DNA test on all the 13 human bodies to ascertain that the tiger they are trying to shoot is indeed the same one.
Another wildlife expert who did not wish to be named said, “The forest department could have tranquillized the tiger by now had it not tried other gimmicks first.”
Meanwhile, animal lovers on social media are circulating messages and e-mails to pressurize the state government to revoke its decision on shooting the tiger. The
#LetAvniLive campaign has particularly drawn a lot of attention.
City-based animal volunteer Roger Joseph said, “The tigress has two cubs that are too young to survive on their own. If T1 is killed, the future of these cubs will be in jeopardy. Also, there is no concrete evidence of the killing, as DNA test was done only on three bodies. The ‘Save The Tiger’ slogan makes no sense if our tigers are going to be hunted down.”