Legendary tigress Machhli, who was the world’s oldest tigress in the wild, died in Ranthambhore National Park in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan on Thursday after a prolonged illness, during which she had stopped eating for the last five days. She was 19-years-old. A tiger usually lives 14-15 years.
People who visited her at the Ranthambore National Park in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan expressed their sadness at her passing. This comes less than a month after Jai, Maharashtra’s biggest tiger who called the Umred-Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary his home, first disappeared and was spotted in another district.
Machhli had not eaten for five days before Thursday. Also referred to as T 16, Machhli was probably the world’s most photographed tigress. She was named Machhli because of the marks on her face that resemble a fish. She had contributed more than $10 million a year to the economy of Ranthambore over the last 10 years.
Her body has been taken to the Ama Ghati check-post for the post-mortem, after which it will be cremated. The cremation is to avoid the body parts from being harvested, Ranthambore Field Director Y.K Sahu said.
Earlier this week after Machli was found in feeble condition near a resort in Ama Ghati fringes, officials cordoned off the area and kept her under observation.
She birthed nine cubs over the past 16 years. But despite being the park’s star attraction, Machli disappeared from the park’s core area a few years ago as younger tigers pushed her out. She re-appeared a few months back.
“Very sad to know, the Queen of Tigers, Ranthambore’s Machli is no more! Machli was not only the oldest tigress in the world, but also the mightiest. It was the pride of the jungle, burning bright #ranthambore,” former chief minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted.