Days after Pandharkavada tigress T1 (nickname Avni) was killed, a camera trap has captured pictures of her cubs, bringing cheer to officials of the forest department. Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (APCCF), Sunil Limaye, told the Indian Express that the cubs appear to be in very good health, which has relieved the officials a great deal since their survival in the wild in the absence of their mother was a matter of great concern for everyone.
As reported earlier, the two cubs, a male and a female, aged about ten months, were first sighted by a tracking team on Wednesday morning near Vihirgov village. They were also captured in a camera trap. In order to lure the cubs, the tracking team also experimented by playing recorded tiger calls.
Once the cubs are captured, the officials are mulling to put them in a ten-hectare enclosure which was created earlier to raise orphaned tiger cubs, in Pench tiger reserve. “The enclosure will provide them natural ambition for further growth. So we are thinking of putting them there. That, however, will be done only after a specially constituted committee approves it,” Limaye said.
Earlier, two different probe panels were constituted to probe whether the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) standard operating procedure was violated in the operation that led to the elimination of the tigress. The probe committee set up by the state government will start its investigation into the procedural lapses, if any, from Saturday while the NTCA has already completed its probe and is supposed to submit its report by November 26.
The Maharashtra government had assigned sharp-shooter Navab Shafath Ali Khan the job of shooting Avni (T1), a man-eater tigress in Yavatmal. It is being alleged that the post-mortem report of T1 showed that she was probably shot dead first and then the tranquillizer dart was planted on her body.