Five hours ago, a new article came out about how wildlife lovers feel about her disappearance. Most people have already labeled her as dead, despite the fact that fresh pug marks were found a few days ago. Dharmendra Khandal of Tiger Watch said that ‘She was old and was of no ecological use. The effort that the forest department used to maintain her can be better used to take care of the many sub-adults in the forest now.” For some years now, a vehicle and separate fund were allocated just for feeding Machli, as she could no longer hunt efficiently by herself.
But it is not the absence of Machli that is stirring up wildlife enthusiasts against the forest department as is the use of the term “missing” in cases when tigers are not sighted even for long period of time. It has been six months since Machli’s daughter Sundari or T-17 was last sighted but the forest department still refers to her as ‘missing.’
In fact, there are at least 10 tigers including T-21, T-27, T-40, two cubs of T-13, T-31 and T-29 which have not been sighted for reasonable period of time but are referred to as ‘missing’ by the forest department.
I’ve been trying to write this for the past hour, and it’s one of the hardest things i’ve ever had to do. Forgive me if I get too personal.
I’ve been notified that Machli, our grand dame, has been reported missing and has not been seen for several weeks. What’s most disturbing about this, is that she went missing in the same place as her daughter did last year. I know the Forest Department will go above and beyond to try and find Machli, and that they will not rest until they succeed but I think that everyone is preparing for the worst.
Machli is nearly 17 years old, and has lost all of her canine teeth. She is healthy, but without the Forest Department, she will struggle to find food. The place where she’s gone missing is hostile to tigers, and is notorious for being a safe haven for illegal wood-cutting, mining and cattle grazing aswell as revenge killings on tigers.