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India’s Most Famous Tiger Machli, ‘Queen of Ranthambore’, Dies at 19

India's most popular tiger, Machli, died Thursday at the age of 19, India's Ranthambore National Park announced.

Also known as the "Queen of Ranthambore," Machli was described as one of the world's most photographed tigers and the oldest female tiger living in the wild.

Image: The female tiger, often called the Queen of Ranthambore, died aged 19.
The female tiger, often called the Queen of Ranthambore, died aged 19. Ranthambore National Park

She had not eaten for five days and had been unwell, the park said in a statement announcing her death.

"She was found dead near a densely forested patch close to a luxury resort," it said.

"We feel deeply sad at the loss of this legend and with tears in our eyes we remember each time a sight of this brave one made us smile," it added.

Machli's name — sometimes spelled Machhli or Machali — came from the Hindu word for fish because of a fish-shaped mark on her face.

Ranthambore National Park is one of the largest national parks in northern India, and the country has more than half the world's estimated 2,000 tigers.