Her fate was, perhaps, sealed the minute Avni, the tigress killed in Maharashtra last week was declared a man-eater. But the question looms: with conflict spiking and a forest department with their hands tied – will this be the fate of other tigers in the state? Of the 13 human kills that Avni or T1 was held responsible for, it was only in the last three in August that there was evidence of feeding. This, officials point out, is key. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) makes a distinction between an animal that accidentally kills a human and one that feeds on them habitually. An official said, “The problem is that the forest department knows that tigers and men need to learn to co-exist. For this, we can only work with people to try and change their habits. Tigers will do what they have been evolved to do.” “But tigers don’t have votes. People do, whose side do you think politicians will take,” added the official.