The seven-member team spotted the big cat hiding in the bushes in Dighori range between Malda and Sonjari villages at around 2pm, said a senior official.
“We tried our best to save the life of the tigress and tried to tranquilise it. But due to long distance and dense bushes, we left with no other option but to open fire as not doing so would have meant missing the opportunity to take out the elusive tigress”, said Deputy Conservator of Forest (Territorial) S V Ramarao.
“A total of nine rounds were fired”, he added. Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had last week asked the forest authorities to take a call on killing the tigress to save human lives.
The tigress had escaped by a whisker on Monday when officials nearly trapped it near Salebardi village, and went on to kill three cattle in past two days.
Honorary Wildlife Warden Sawan Bahekar told PTI that the decision to kill the tigress was taken with a heavy heart.
The failure of forest officials to tame the big cat over last one month had triggered an outrage among villagers who had staged a blockade at Navegaon Bandh intersection last Saturday.
The carcass of the tigress was brought at Chulbandh for postmortem.