Meet Machli, one of the world’s most impressive and well-known tigresses.
Given the titles Queen Mother of Tigers, Tigress Queen of Ranthambore, and Crocodile Killer, this female was considered to be India’s most famous tiger, and was the oldest living wild tigress at the time of her death.
Her claims to fame included taking down a colossal croc right in front of an audience of onlookers, existing for years with only one eye, and tenaciously defending her cubs from countless males in the region.
In 2003, the tigress — known for her hunting prowess and strength — wrestled and killed this 12-foot-long mugger crocodile, losing 2 canine teeth in the battle.
Machli lived to the age of 19, exceeding the usual tiger lifespan by almost a decade. She also had an astonishing four litters of cubs, mothering 11 cubs and increasing the tiger population in the park significantly. Experts say that half of the tigers in the park are now of her lineage. Two of her cubs were transferred to another park, increasing the population and genetic diversity there, as well.
The Bengal tigress spent her life in her 350 square mile territory in India’s Ranthambore National Park, where many tourists had the opportunity to photograph her.