Killing of Tigers in the Name of Safety


The tigress Avni was recently killed and her two cubs are seen to be roaming about lonely in the forests of Maharashtra while two others cubs have been crushed by a train in Chandrapur. The death of the tigers reminds us of the importance of revisiting the animal-human conflict with heightened sensitivity and a model of inclusive growth.

The New Leam Staff

Representative Image / Tiger cubs emerge at Chester Zoo/ Image Source : Liverpoolecho

The condition of the plight of the cubs of Tigress Avni is miserable. Just days after tigress Avni was killed after being accused of killing more than a dozen villagers and capping off one of India’s largest tiger hunt operations, her cubs were spotted roaming alone in the jungles. The cubs who are now orphaned after their mother was shot dead must to the anger of environment conservationists; the cubs have been spotted in the forest of Maharashtra.

The officials said that they hope that the cubs have not got accustomed to the taste of human blood and flesh just like their mother. They say that whether or not they are used to eating human flesh will depend on their proximity to their mother while she went on killing villagers. The mother was shot dead in early November after she had been accused of killing more than a dozen people in Maharashtra.

This led the government of Maharashtra to start one of the biggest tiger searches and the ultimate death of tigress Avni much to the criticisms of wildlife conservationists. The search for Avni involved a team of more than 200 trained experts, para-gliders, infrared cameras and sharpshooters on elephant backs. The death of the tigress is said to have made the villagers very happy but what is ironical is that despite the apparent danger that the tigress was becoming for the people, we cannot forget to ask whether there is something intrinsically problematic with our model of development that tigers are becoming displaced and attacking humans?

The deforestation process, the clearing of vast forest lands, reduction in water and food resources are causes that have compelled many wild animals to walk into the human habitation resulting in destruction. The tiger cubs are healthy and are looking normal but the damage that we have done to their lives cannot be repaired. The killing of tigress Avni will have a far reaching impact on the lives of the cubs. It is being reported that another set of cubs have recently been crushed under the train in Maharshtra.

The tiger cubs were crossing the railway line in Chandrapur where they were run over by a train. The death of so many tigers in recent times means that we are doing something wrong in our conception of modernity and development and somewhere it is not ecologically sustainable.

The fact that wild animals are so frequently coming into areas of human habitation points to the fact that their natural habitats are being destroyed. It is time to think more seriously about the issue and adopt a more conducive model of development.


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