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Machali – World’s most photographed ‘royal tigress’ who had killed 14-feet crocodile in legendary battle

Machali the tigress

On this World Tigers Day, celebrated on 29 July every year, we wish to revive the memories of Machali (T-16) – the pride of Ranthambore National Park.

She is the most photographer royal tigress. Her muscular and majestic looks and her dominance on the entire jungle once impressed everyone. She has featured in films, books, and documentaries. She has been awarded with a TOFT Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to Rajasthan and tiger population.

Machali with her cubs

TOFT had observed that Machali had earned $10 million for the park annually for 10 year owing to her hysterical popularity. It is believed that most of the tiger population in Ranthambore and Sariska tiger reserves is Marchli’s lineage.

However, her legendary battle with a 14-feet crocodile, in which she had actually killed it, earned her huge popularity and respect. It was the first incident in history where a tigress was filmed fighting a crocodile, while light confrontations are common sight. Watch the video footage, which is very short but will give you a clear idea of Machali’s tremendous strength and fighting skills.

Machali – World’s most photographed ‘royal tigress’ who had killed 14-feet crocodile in legendary battle

Machali's legendary battle with a 14-feet crocodile in 2008, in which she had actually killed it. It was the first incident in history where a tigress was filmed fighting a crocodile, while light confrontations are common.

Posted by Planet Custodian on Thursday, 30 July 2015

She has for long been seen roaming around glorious palaces, lakes and forts of Ranthambore fearlessly. The world also recognizes her as the “lady of the lake” since she was mostly seen along the water territory of the jungle.

Lady of the lake machali

During January 2014 this 17-years-old tigress disappeared from her territory and sent wildlife staff into a state of shock. The officials feared she may have fallen prey to poachers. However, she made an appearance after a month. It was a great relief for everyone who loved Machali.

She has lived 3-4 years beyond the average life of a big cat. These big feline predators have a life span of about 15 years. Machali is now showing signs of weakness and she is not able to protect her territory anymore as young tigers invade it.

She is under continuous surveillance now. Forest guards keep eye on her every moment to ensure the animal doesn’t die of hunger, dehydration or poaching. The royal tigress may be meeting a slow end, but her legacy will live on forever.
machali fighting

Last year in November, she was spotted with swollen eye and officials feared she had gone blind in one eye after a fight with another tiger T-72 or Sultan. She had also left her territory and had shifted to Amba Ghati to survive.

The Ranthambore park authorities as well as every tiger lover wishes she could live forever, but it’s not possible as nature has a life cycle for every creature that has taken birth. She is in her last days, but lived all her life with pride.

Because of her popularity and special affection of park officials, the authorities have requested the National Tiger Conservation Authority to allow it to retrieve her skin upon her demise so that the animal can be preserved in its life-size incarnation. They wish to keep the glory of this majestic royal tigress alive forever.

Presently, India is home to 70% of the world’s tiger population with an estimated count of 2,226. The countrywide tiger assessment report for 2014 claims 30% rise in population as compared to 2010. However, India is fighting against poachers and struggling to solve man-animal conflict that often leads to killing of these big cats. The villagers in the country need to be taught ways to avoid confrontations with tigers and generate tolerance to make space for them as their habitat is shrinking due to urban development.

Image Credits: RanthambhoreKothi/DailyMail