Albino tiger cub dies

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Albino tiger cub dies

TNN 19 November 2009, 06:48am IST

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LUCKNOW: The albino tiger cub breathed its last on Wednesday morning. The cub had its morning feed at 5.00am and was fine till then, according to zoo reports. After few hours, the cub was noticed motionless at the veterinary hospital. On examination it was found to have suffered a cardiac arrest.

It was on November 13 that the newborn cub was admitted to ICU at Lucknow zoo hospital after it showed no movement. On the very same evening it had revived. It is the third cub of tigress Ipshita to have died since November 8, when the royal Bengal tigress gave birth to four little ones — an albino and three normal looking royal Bengal tiger cubs. The big size of litters was a thing of joy till the first one died on November 10. It was said to be a weakling as it was the last to have been born to the tigress on November 9.

Even before the loss could be overcome, another cub died on November 15. It was seen lying in the corner of the enclosure where it was left with its mother. The reason extended here again was the cub being a weakling. The mother was also said to be incapable of taking care of her cubs. To save the last one of the normal looking cubs, zoo authorities separated it from its mother and put it under hand-rearing by zoo staff. Both the albino and its sibling were reported to be “doing good” till the sad news came in.

Was it hand-rearing and human touch that made the ailing cub susceptible to infection? Renu Singh, zoo director denied this. “We have earlier also hand-reared many cubs here and we administered the best medical care to these newborns as well”, she said. In such a case, the problem could be with the genetic make-up of the cubs. “This we can know only when we have a history of Ipshita and Shishir’s further generations,” said the director. Ipshita had aborted twice in the past. Hopes now rest on the last surviving cub.

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