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Machali – The Oldest Tigress in the World

Nirbhay Dubey 0

Machali was the oldest Tigress in the World who passed away at the grand old age of 19 years on 18 August 2016. 


She lived a life of freedom in the great wilderness of the Ranthambore National Park in the Indian city of Rajasthan.


She played a key role in the regeneration of the tiger population in the park in the early 2000s, and was celebrated with titles such as Queen Mother of Tigers, Tigress Queen of Ranthambore, Lady of the Lakes and Crocodile Killer.


Machali’s celebrity rose when she courageously fought off and killed a 14-foot long giant crocodile. It was the first time this kind of scene had been seen and caught on camera. 


Machali, born in 1996 or 1997, was the dominant cub in a litter of three females. She inherited her name from her mother, Machali I, who was also named fish due to a fish-shaped mark on her face.


India reportedly earned about USD 10 million per year due to tourists attracted by the tigress. She won the "Lifetime Achievement Award" of Travel Operators For Tigers due to her contribution to conservation and as a tourist attraction that earned significant income for India.


In 2013, the Indian government issued a commemorative postal cover and stamp to honor the tigress for her ecological and economic contributions.


Machli is considered to have been the most photographed tigress in the world. She was featured in a number of wildlife documentaries, including a 50-minute documentary about her life, titled Tiger Queen, which was aired on the National Geographic and Animal Planet channels. In 2012, the story of Machli was aired on the BBC's Natural World in an episode titled "Queen of Tigers: Natural World Special".

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