Mumbai, Nov 8: The post-mortem report of tigress Avni, blamed for 13 deaths in Yavatmal reveals that she had not eaten for more than a week.
The report states that the states she was starving for almost a week before she was killed. The 11-month-old cubs - a male and a female - have not been sighted since Avni's death. The question arises next is if her cubs too are starving over a week.
The forest officers had earlier said that the cubs can survive without mother for 7-8 days.
"We have a window of seven-eight days as the cubs can possibly survive on their own for that long with small kills, like pigs, neelgai fawns and hare. We are trying to capture them sooner than later. We cannot afford to let anything untoward to happen to the cubs," said Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), Sunil Limaye.
According to a Mid-Day report, the postmortem report of Avni says that the tigress' stomach was void of solid contents, indicating that the big cat had nothing to eat for days.
Forest Department officials have voiced concern that her cubs may be starving as it has been more than a week since Avni was killed. They have also placed baits at many places to try and keep the cubs from starving further.
Skin samples from where Avni was shot have been sent to the Regional Forensic Laboratory in Nagpur for ballistic and chemical analysis, along with the dart used. The lab will test if the skin samples contained any traces of tranquilisers or anaesthetics were in the animal.
Meanwhile Shooter Shafat Ali Khan, whose son Asghar Ali killed the man-eating tigress 'Avni', said those criticising the forest department's operation are short on facts. A thorough probe, he added, would expose the "baseless allegations" being levelled by animal rights' activists.
Specifically hitting out at Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, who referred to the officials involved in the neutralisation of tigress Anvi as "murderers", Shafat said he would pursue a legal battle if required to clear the defamatory charges levelled against his son.
The six-year-old animal, officially called T1, a mother to two nine-month-old cubs, allegedly claimed at least 13 lives in Ralegaon forest in Yavatmal since June 2016.
"Avni was shot dead by sharp-shooter Asgar Ali, son of famous sharp-shooter Nawab Shafat Ali, at compartment no 149 of Borati forest under the jurisdiction of the Ralegaon police station.