Ranthambore: India's most famous tigress 'Machli' passes away

"Machhli was often referred to as the Queen of Ranthambore National Park". She had not eaten anything for the last five days, according to media reports. Over the years, she became one of the most photographed animals, drawing thousands of visitors to the reserves and brining in crores of rupees in terms of annual revenue through tourism to the park.

A guide at Ranthambore told Sputnik that during her lifetime, Machli birthed 11 cubs including seven females, giving her the title of the "Godmother" of the tiger reserve.

"Machli - a marking on her face gave her the name - would hear the noise of jeeps and come strolling", said Rishikesh, a forest guard who cremated her on Thursday afternoon in the presence of top district officials.

Machli was found starving and lying on her side near the park's boundary in northern Rajasthan state. Forest department team including veterinary doctor are monitoring her condition but at this age of 19 years medical intervention could be risky.

However, he added, this time seeing her condition, it was hard to believe that she would cheat death yet again.

The legendary tigress, ailing from old age problem, breathed her last around 9.50 am. "It was her gene and strength that made her live for 19 years as no tigress in the world her lives so much", said Yadav.

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Machli had lost all her canine teeth during her fight with the crocodile and sources say she was given baits to ensure she did not die due to hunger.

"She produced many off springs and has immensely contribution to the gene pool of the tiger population in the central Indian landscape".

"We were trying to supply her treatment but she expired".

She once challenged a 14-feet long crocodile, and won.

India has more than half the world's tigers, at 2,226 in the latest approximation.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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