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India mourns the loss of ‘Supermom’ tigers, says emotional goodbye | Wildlife news

The death of India's most famous tiger, who gave birth to 29 cubs during her lifetime, triggers widespread grief.

India's most famous tiger, known as "Supermom" for having given birth to 29 cubs during her lifetime, is dead, which has triggered widespread grief among Indians.

The tigress died of complications due to old age in the Pench Tiger Reserve in central India on Saturday night, said park manager Ashok Kumar Mishra on Monday, adding that the big cat was more than 16 years old.

She was also known as Collarwali in Hindi when she was the first feline to get radio collars in the reserve in 2008.

"It's rare for a tiger to give birth to 29 cubs, including five at a time, and successfully raise 25, which may have earned her the title of Supermom among wildlife lovers," he said.

The beautiful, graceful cat was a darling of visitors to the reserve and often described as the most photographed tiger in the world, local media reported.

Visualizations showed several locals participating in the cremation of the tiger, which was performed in accordance with Hindu rituals. Some held garlands while others folded their hands and gave their respect to Collarwali.

Social media abounded with Indians posting tributes and saying goodbye to the beloved Collarwali.

"Tribute to 'Super Tigress Mom' ... The forests of Madhya Pradesh will always resonate with the roar of the kids from the 'Queen of Pench Tiger Reserve,'" Prime Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Twitter.

Wildlife experts said Collarwali played a key role in maintaining the tiger population in the reserve, which reportedly has more than 130 tigers.

India is home to about 75 percent of the world's tiger population, and its conservation efforts have been quite successful, with a 2018 census counting 2,967 big cats.

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