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Avni, forgive us: Sena condoles death of tigress

The Shiv Sena on Monday came down heavily on government authorities for killing man-eater Tigress ‘Avni’ and called for the adoption of adequate measures to avoid human-animal conflicts.

In its editorial mouthpiece, Saamna, the party, while acknowledging that the tigress killed 13 people in the last two years, blamed the rampant intrusion into wildlife inhabited areas as the reason for it.

“If one inserts his hand inside a snake’s burrow, it is but natural that it will bite the person. The same is happening in the case of wild animals. Humans have intruded the space of tigers. Forests are being destroyed, hills are being broken. It has become difficult for tigers to live. After doing so much how can we expect any humanitarianism from tigers?” the write-up read.

It further raised the issue of increasing residential colonies in, and around Borivali National Park and claimed that this was the reason why leopards enter colonies and even killed people at times.

The Shiv Sena also asserted that instead of shooting animals, it is important for humans to be more disciplined.

In the wake of the incident, the party urged authorities to provide basic facilities of housing and sanitation to those who are forced to live under the constant fear of attack by wild animals.

The Shiv Sena also raised suspicion over the way Avni was killed and claimed that proper procedures were not followed. It alluded that dead bodies of only 6 out of the 13 people allegedly killed by the tigress were sent for post-mortem, and only 1 was actually found to be killed by a tiger.

The Shiv Sena also compared Avni’s killing with the alleged mistreatment meted out to farmers. “If Avni can be termed a man-eater for reportedly killing 13 people, why isn’t any government machinery being held responsible for the situation of drought, starvation, malnutrition which is leading to the death of farmers?” it questioned.

“Avni you were sacrificed for the greed of humans. In a state where even humans can’t live properly, what do we say about wild animals like you? Avni, forgive us. You were killed cowardly,” the party concluded.

Tigress Avni, who was believed to be responsible for the death of 13 people in the past two years, was gunned down by sharp-shooter Asgar Ali in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal on November 2.

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