Kottayam: Kerala's first woman hunter Thresya Thomas, also known as Shikari Kuttiamma, passed away on Monday (August 19) due to age-related illness. She was 87.

The funeral will be held at St Antony’s Church cemetery in Kottayam at 3 pm on Tuesday. She ruled the Anchunad forest in Idukki district of Kerala with her gun before the forest acts were implemented in the state.

Kuttiamma had joined a convent in Karnataka to be a nun, but at that time a bison attacked her brother in Kerala. He was severely injured and admitted in a hospital.

Hearing this news, Kuttiamma rushed to the hospital to meet her brother. As her family was not financially stable, they failed to pay the bills at the hospital. However, the hospital authorities said instead of money, the meat of wild animals would suffice as payment.

Hearing this, Kuttiamma went to the forest and shot a bison, which weighed 800kg. Later she chopped the bison into pieces and gave them to the hospital authorities. From then on Kuttiamma's hunting job started. She was then married to Thomas, who belongs to Sri Lanka. From then on, the couple went on hunting trips together.

Soon, hunting of wild animals came to the notice of the government, and they took a decision to evict Kuttiamma. At that time, she owned 17 acres of land. The then government took over her land in 1993 and promised to compensate her.

In 2005, she approached the Kerala high court pointing out no compensation was paid to her. Later in 2006, the court ordered payment of Rs 45 lakh including interest to her. According to reports, she received only Rs 29 lakh. In 2013, she again moved the court, and she received the full amount.

After this, Kuttiamma moved to Anakkallu in Kanjirappally, Kottayam.  She had been suffering from memory loss for the past couple of years. She is survived by son VT Thomas and daughter-in-law Sherly Joseph.