D Madhavan, TNN 5 November 2009, 03:37am IST
CHENNAI: In the third such incident in six months, a 19-year-old lion died on Tuesday after a bloody fight with other lions at the rescue and rehabilitation centre attached to the Arignar Anna Zoological Park.
An employee of the zoo told TOI that there was a noisy fight among several lions after the animal keeper on duty forgot to lock the cages on Tuesday, a holiday for the zoo, before leaving the centre. Around 3 pm, zoo officials noticed a number of lions outside the cages fighting with each other. “The animals were so ferocious that we could do nothing but watch till they calmed down,” said an official. “But by the time the fight got over, one of them was dead. He was badly mauled by the others.”
A lion had died in September and another in May this year in a similar manner, as overcrowding leads to frequent fights among animals. There are 41 lions at the rescue centre, another 14 in the lion safari area and 2 in the gallery. P L Ananthasamy, zoo director and chief conservator of forests, however, attributed the lion’s death to old age.
Meanwhile, Ravi Chellam, country director, wildlife conservation soceity — India programme, said no animal or human being dies simply due to old age. “There should be an underlying specific reason,” he said.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://wbigcatrescue.org