With the population of tigers throughout the world decreasing at a fast pace, Machli, the reigning tigress of the Ranthambore, turned 20 this May.

The famed tigress, also called the “lady of the lake”, is the most photographed tigress in the world with many documentaries been shot about her life. The interesting part is that the average life of a Royal Bengal Tiger is 10-15 years.

Machli is currently the world’s oldest tigress, after Chatty Flavio, who died at the age of 25.

Owing to her popularity and prowess in the Ranthanbore National Park, she won the Travel Operators For Tigers (TOFT) Lifetime Achievement award.

While most tigresses have two or three litters in their lifetimes, Machli had five litters. Blessed with eleven offsprings, her progeny makes 60 per cent of the tiger population in India.

Also, she has been contributing about Rs 65 crore per annum for the last 10 years to Rajasathan tourism.

According to conservationists, her calm behaviour attracts tourists from all corners of the world. Interestingly, she is known to pose for tourists.

But, she is not just a good poser but also a ferocious fighter. She once challenged a 14-feet crocodile, and won. Also, in her early years, she scared off many male tigers who threatened her cubs.

Although she has lost all her teeth and an eye, her legacy, dominance over the Ranthambore National Park, and popularity among tiger lovers remain unmatched.