Nagpur: In a letter addressed to the state forest chief, Kartik Shukul, special counsel for forest department, has written that the execution of tigress Avni by a shooter was wrong. The letter, however, does not say that the order for killing the tigress was wrong.

Problems that arose while killing T1, popularly known as Avni, had been established by the post-mortem report given by principle chief conservator of forests, representative Milind Pariwakam and wildlife vet Dr SS Bawaskar.

Shukul, in the letter, has demanded a detailed inquiry into the killing of the tigress.

In the case being heard by the Nagpur court bench and the Supreme Court, which was challenged by activists, Shukul’s opinion on killing the tigress has been accepted. AK Mishra, chief wildlife warden, had on September 4 initiated the procedure for killing the man-eater tigress.

In the meantime, the two cubs of Avni have been spotted on camera in the Maregaon range. They hunted a pony that was set up for them as a bait. They consumed major chunks of the prey, eliminating the risk of the speculated starvation of the cubs. Forest guards found the pony's carcass on Monday morning. There were no other tigers roaming in the 655 compartment of the Anji beat, in Maregaon range of Yavatmal district. 

T2, Avni's partner, was seen 8 km away from the area where the remains of the carcass was found.

Shafat Ali Khan, hunter from Hyderabad who has been closely examining the movement of the cubs since their mother’s death, said that the evidence of predatory activity of the cubs raises hope of their survival in the wild.

Khan added that the Maharashtra forest department should keep a close watch on the cubs as they might have inherited their mother’s taste for the hunt of humans. He stated that tranquilising them is a difficult job. However, once tranquilised, the forest department will be able to take the cubs into captivity.

In Khan's opinion, the cubs should still be supervised and provided with food until they start hunting by themselves. He requested a close watch on T2, as the saliva on two human bodies that were apparently T1's preys could have been of the male tiger.