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A man-eating tigress, which had struck terror in Maharashtra and was responsible for 13 deaths, was shot dead on Friday night in the Yavatmal region of the state on Friday night, according to ANI.

Popularly called Avni though officially called T1, the tigress was ordered to be shot to death by the Supreme Court earlier in the year despite calls by animal rights activists to capture the animal alive. Nearly 10,000 people signed a petition on change.org asking it not to be killed.

Tracking of the tigress started after she killed five people in 2017 though officials suspect that she was responsible for the deaths of eight more people going back a year.

Tigers are shy animals and do not attack or kill humans under normal circumstances. However, old age, injury or being threatened can push them to attack humans as people are easier to hunt, subdue and kill than a tiger's usual prey. Once they get into the habit of eating human flesh, it is very difficult for a tiger to switch back to hunting its natural prey.

According to a census conducted in 2014, Indian reserve forests are home to around 2,226 tigers, making up half the population of the animal on the planet.

Many tigers perish every year due to activities of poachers and humans encroaching on forests reserved for tigers, which result in man-animal conflict.

The last instance when a man-eating tiger was shot dead was in October 2016 in Uttarakhand. The beast killed three villagers, including a woman, on the fringes of the Jim Corbett National Park, which is one of the largest tiger reserves in the country.