As if losing her Canines wasn’t enough, she also had to undergo the ordeal of being pushed out of her territory by her own kin last year. The forest department which had been providing her live bait in the last 4 years has stopped feeding her now as per the instructions of the NTCA (National Tiger Conservation Authority). She remains confined to a tiny little territory on the periphery of the park and has to ward off any confrontation with the younger generation. Since Machli currently lives in a territory adjoining a village notorious for killing Tigers (her daughter Sundari T-17 had disappeared without a trace from there last year), an experienced Forest Guard has been appointed for keeping a watch on her every single day.
It has been 7-8 weeks since she stopped receiving live bait but has managed to survive by hunting down smaller mammals, birds & reptiles. While the practice of feeding old Tigers wasn’t an ethical one to start with, an abrupt end to it is akin to pulling off the life support system when it perhaps is needed the most. While it seems that the practice of feeding her had probably been started to keep the cash registers ringing (she used to be the most sighted Tigress), the booming population of Tigers & frequent sightings of new Tigers seem to have made Machli redundant these days.
Whatever the outcome in the months to follow, she is one heck of a resilient Lady and a true Legend who deserves utmost respect for having graced us with her enigmatic presence. May she go down in history not only as an Icon to a species which unfortunately is on the brink of extinction but also of one of the most amazing Tigresses ever to have walked the earth.