WITH OUTRAGE after the killing of tigress Avni growing, wildlife activists and animal lovers on Sunday plan a global protest march in several cities to draw attention to shrinking space for tigers and lack of rehabilitation support for the two cubs of the tigress, who are yet to be caught.
On Sunday, wildlife activists will march near Worli seaface to demand resignation of Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. This comes days after Union Minister Maneka Gandhi lashed out at Mungantiwar while dubbing the killing a “ghastly murder”. The protest is scheduled to be held in several cities, including Delhi, Nagpur, Chennai, Udaipur, Kolkata, Surat, Ranthambore, Trivandrum, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Manipur, Vizag and Ahmedabad. Abroad, protests will be held in the US, Canada, New Zealand, Nepal, Australia and South Africa.
Anusha Iyer, who has rescued and nursed 56 cats and 14 dogs, said the protest will be held to ensure that the cubs are properly rescued and rehabilitated, and that measures to declare a tiger man-eater are taken after due consideration. “If one enters a tigress’ territory and she has cubs to protect, she will defend her children,” Iyer said.
“There are 1,500 tigers left in our country. Every time we invade into forest space, we are depriving them of their habitat,” she added.
About 168 national and international organisations have pledged support to the protest. On Friday, actors Rupali Ganguli, Jaya Bhattacharya, Anant Mahadevan and Kashmira Shah showed solidarity with
“In the name of development, we are eradicating flora and fauna… What is more depressing is that people in power have not spoken up about this issue,” said Anant Mahadevan, adding that there were no
attempts to tranquillise tigress Avni.
The tigress, believed to have turned a man-eater and killed 13 people in the past two years in Yavatmal district, was shot dead in Borati forest last Friday.
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