Machali, The Oldest Tigress In The World, Has Just Passed Away. A Nation Mourns

Andrea A.

The "tigress queen" is no more.

On Thursday August 18, the world's oldest tigress Machali passed away at the grand old age of 19 years.


Source : @Machli - The Queen of Tigers

She lived a life of freedom in the great wilderness of the Ranthambore National Park in the Indian city of Rajasthan. She is a bit of a celebrity in India, where she can be found on stamps all over the country.

Source : @Ranthambore National Park

With Bengal tigers living to an average age of twelve years, the elderly tiger more than deserved the moving tribute organised by the team at the sanctuary.


Source : @Ranthambore National Park


Source : @Ranthambore National Park

Machali's legacy goes further than just her country of birth, being one of the most photographed wild animals in the world. She was the star of many documentaries such as National Geographic's Tiger Queen from 2015.

The tigress had many nicknames such as "Queen Mother of Tigers", "Tigress Queen of Ranthambore", "Lady of the Lakes" and even "Crocodile Killer".


Source : @Machli - The Queen of Tigers

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.

In her old age, the tigress had barely any teeth left and her vision was in critical condition. Machali could no longer fight and had therefore lost her territory.


Source : @Machli - The Queen of Tigers

The staff at the reserve had been helping feed her by hanging meat from the trees.

Machali leaves behind many descendants at the Ranthambore Park: it is believed that nearly half of the reserve's tigers belong to her line.

Sadly, Bengal tigers are today an endangered species. Though environmental policies have slowed the rate of disappearance since the 1990s, there are only 2500 individuals left across the whole of South East Asia and China.

All species included, there are no more than 3500 tigers left in the wild and organisations such as the WWF are raising the alarm. Click here to find out more about what they are doing.