TThe post-mortem conducted on the carcass of tigress Avni, which was shot dead by the Maharashtra Government-hired sharpshooter in forests of Pandharkawada in Yavatmal district last week, has revealed that the wild cat “died of excessive internal haemorrhages and cardio respiratory failure".
"In our opinion, the tigress has died of excessive internal haemorrhages and cardio respiratory failure," the post-mortem report submitted to the State forest authorities on November 5 stated.
The post-mortem was conducted by a team of doctors at the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd-run Gorewada International Standard Zoo Rescue Centre in Nagpur.
The post-mortem report also stated that Avni's stomach was "fluid filled and no major solid contents", while her small intestines was "fluid and gas filled" The large intestines were "fluid and gas filled".
One of the forensic experts who part of the team that conducted the post-mortem conducted on the deceased tigress said that Avni was hungry when she was shot.
Avni, aged between five and 6 years, was being accompanied by her two cubs – both 10 year old ones, when she was shot by sharp shooter Asgar Ali, son of controversial sharp-shooter Nawab Shafath Ali Khan from Hyderabad, at compartment number 149 of Borati forest under the jurisdiction of the Ralegaon police station.
The two cubs have gone missing since the tigress was eliminated on the night of November 2. The forest department officials have launched its massive search to secure the two missing cubs.
The ballistic tests and chemical analysis are being currently conducted at the Regional Forensic Laboratory in Nagpur, reports of which reports are awaited.
The elusive tigress T1, better known as Avni of Pandharkawada hills - that had allegedly mauled as many as 13 persons to death during the past two years in Yavatmal district in Vidarbha region in Maharashtra – was shot dead on the night of November 2, after a massive 53-day hunt.
The elimination of Avni has sparked a major controversy, with Union Women & Child development minister and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi dubbing the tigress’ elimination as "straight case of crime” and virtually rooting for Mungantiwar's dismissal from the Devendra Fadnavis Cabinet.
After issuing a detailed statement on the issue, Maneka has also taken up the matter with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. “I request you to fix the responsibility for the illegal killing of the tigress and consider removing Mugantiwar from the responsibility of the Ministry of Environment and Forest in the state government. I have personally known you an animal welfare person and I am sure you will consider my request,” Maneka wrote in her letter to the Chief Minister.
On his part, the Maharashtra government on Monday ordered a probe into the killing of Pandharkawada Tigress T1, who was believed to be responsible for deaths of several people, to ascertain whether “there were any lapses in the operation” by the state Forest department. “The probe will address all questions being raised by Union minister Maneka Gandhi,” Fadnavis said.
In a strongly worded statement issued two days after Avni’s elimination, Maneka had said: “This is the third tiger being killed on directions of the Environment and Forest Minister. Earlier, a dozen leopards and 300 wild boars have been killed on his directions. I am shocked that such a person is continuing to hold a ministerial position,” Gandhi said in a strongly worded statement
Maneka, who had initially put out a series of tweets on the incident, said in her statement: “It (the killing) is nothing but a straight case of crime. Despite requests from his own forest department and People all over India, Sh Sudhir Mugantiwar, Minister for Environment and Forests, Maharashtra gave orders for the killing”.
Terming Avni’s killing as “illegal”, Maneka had said: “Every time he has used the Hyderabad shooter, Shafat Ali Khan and this time his son has also appeared on the scene illegally to kill the tigress. His son was not authorised to kill. This is patently illegal”.