A heartbreaking yet fitting funeral service held for a tigress in India has taken the internet by storm.
The Department of Forest in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh released a string of pictures showing a female tiger lying on a funeral pyre.
The late animal is draped in a white sheet and decorated with colorful flower garlands.
Officially named T15, the tigress was lovingly known in India as Collarwali. She was not only famous in the state but throughout the country.
She also donned the unofficial title of “Supermom” after mothering dozens of tiger cubs according to Newsweek.
In the heartbreaking Twitter post, the Department of Forest in Madhya Pradesh revealed that many key officials, including Forest Minister Dr. Kunwar Vijay Shah, in the state had been in attendance at the funeral which was held at the Tiger Reserve in Pench National Park.
They noted that the wild animal's death triggered a “wave of mourning” among wildlife lovers living in the area. Even the state's Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan joined in to pay the tigress a heart-melting tribute.
“Tribute to the ‘Super Tigress Mom' collared tigress of Madhya Pradesh's pride and mother of 29 cubs @PenchMP, who played an important role in getting the status of Tiger State. The forests of Madhya Pradesh will always resonate with the roar of the cubs of the ‘Queen' of Pench Tiger Reserve,” read the statement.
Collarwali died of natural causes at the age of 16-and-a-half. Between 2008 and 2018, she littered a few times, producing 29 cubs. It was shared that she “made an unforgettable contribution in increasing the family of tigers in Pench.”
In recent years Indian governments have been working on conserving the once dwindling numbers of tigers in the country.
Continuing the good work which began in 1973 with the launch of Project Tiger, which saw the species being designated the country's national animal, they attained some success.
The population of tigers stabilized in the recent decade but it is still classified as a Red List Endangered Species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
It is estimated that only 3,500 tigers are now left in the wild. To change this devastating loss, the World Wildlife Fund joined the conservation efforts for tigers in India.
Now it says that the population of the animal is stable in India and is rising at present. Per a 2018 report Status of Tigers in India, it is estimated that 2,967 of the animals are present in the country.
This number reportedly accounts for over 80 percent of the global population. This number is significantly higher than 2010's population estimate of 1,706.
Cover image source: Twitter | Department of Forest, MP