Machli (T-16), the magnet for wildlife enthusiasts and one of the longest surviving tigress, passed away on Thursday. The tigress had been unwell for the past few months before succumbing to her illness. Machli was often referred to as the Queen of Ranthambore National Park’’. She gained fame for her bravery and tourist-friendly attitude. Machli’s valour caught global attention when she fought and killed a 14-foot-long crocodile in Rajasthan’s famous National Park.
The tigress dies at the age of 19, which is almost equivalent to a human’s 110-115 years. Officials at the Ranthambore National Park, a couple of weeks earlier, had confirmed of her ill-health. The tigress has been unwell and not eating for the past four days, officials said. Prior to her death, Machli lost all her teeth and became blind in one eye.
Over three weeks back, YK Sahu, Field Director of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve had said, “T-16 was found ill near a luxury resort. The forest staff and vets have been monitoring her condition”.
Machli has been known to be a loving mother. Being muscular, she had often challenged larger male tigers who posed harm on her cubs.
She gave birth to nine cubs, thereby helping India raise its count of tigers. Being camera friendly, the tigress would often pose before photographers, who all, in turn, considered their trip to Ranthambore Tiger Reserve incomplete without catching glimpses of her.
Machli’s face was internationally renowned. In fact, she was christened with this name because of the unique fish-shaped mark of her face. The tigress has a postage stamp, a Facebook page dedicated to her and also has several documentaries and short films to her name. Even though she no longer exists, her name will go down in history as one of the world’s most admired tigress.