A man-eating tiger that claimed more than a dozen victims in two years has been shot dead in India, sparking controversy over the legality of its killing.
One of India's most high-profile tiger hunts in decades ended Friday night when the mother of two 10-month old cubs -- known to hunters as T1 but Avni to wildlife lovers -- was shot dead in the jungles of Maharashtra state.
A team of more than 150 people had spent months searching for T1, using a paraglider and dozens of infrared cameras while sharpshooters had ridden on the backs of elephants.
However disputes quickly erupted after the killing as media reports said the tiger was shot in Yavatmal forest with no attempt to tranquilize her.
India's Supreme Court had issued a hunting order for T1 -- blamed for 13 deaths since June 2016 -- in September, ruling that she could be killed if tranquilizers failed. Several appeals were made against the death sentence.
The tiger was killed at night, when tranquilizers are not allowed to be used, according to the Times of India and other media outlets.
India has launched a major campaign to boost tiger numbers. At the last tiger census in 2014 the number had risen to more than 2,200 from a low of less than 1,500.