MUMBAI: The tranquiliser dart fired at tigress Avni before she was shot and killed on November 2, did not puncture her skin for it to have entered her bloodstream, the provisional autopsy report revealed on Friday. The report has also said Avni was starving for several days before her death, raising concerns over the fate of her two cubs, who are still missing, and the manner of her killing.
Avni’s killing had led to outrage among wildlife activists in the country, several of whom raised questions over the manner of her killing and the need for it. It had also led to a war of words between Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi and the state government as she condemned the use of controversial shooter Asgar Ali and demanded a probe into the killing. The state’s Forests Minister, Sudhir Mungantiwar, had defended the decision.
The report also states that the bullet fired to kill her had pierced near the shoulder and punctured her lungs.
Meanwhile, Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari on Friday termed the demands for Mungantiwar’s resignation as “laughable”.
Terming Avni’s killing as “unfortunate”, Gadkari said nobody has expressed sadness over the 13 tribals killed by her. The people in the region had lived under Avni’s fear for a long time and never ventured out of their homes after dark, but no one spared a thought for these families, he said. Lauding Mungantiwar, Gadkari said the minister had done commendable work in ensuring Nagpur was declared the country’s tiger capital.