Infection led to Indian zoo tiger deaths

Express News Service

Chandigargh, September 22: In a preliminary report sent by the PAU authorities to the Chhatbir Zoo officials this morning, it has come to light that the two Royal Bengal Tigers died due to a parasite infection in the blood. The two white Royal Bengal tigers died one after another on September 20. The Zoo officials said that every angle related to the sudden demise of the tigers is being investigated.

“We are also looking at the vaccination aspect and won’t rule out any human error in adminstering medicine to the tigers,” Kuldeep Kumar, Conservator of Forests said here today.

He further said that the records pertaining to the vaccines given to the three tigers on September 19 were being scrutinised in order to rule out any human error. A departmental inquiry in the matter was ordered yesterday by the Chief Wild Life Warden Swaran Singh to be conducted by Kuldeep Kumar on the sudden demise of the two tigers.

Meanwhile, in order to chalk out further plans in wake of the death of the tigers in the zoo, a review meeting was held today in the Chattbir Zoo in which senior forest officials as well as the general staff of the zoo participated.

Speaking about the meeting Kuldeep Kumar said that issues like disinfecting the enclosures of the animals were discussed during the meeting. He further said that the third tiger, which was also vaccinated, was gradually getting healthier. According to the sources, a blood test was conducted on him yesterday by the PAU team.

With the recent death of four tigers in the zoo, there are now only 10 Royal Bengal tigers left in the zoo, thereby severely hampering the breeding process. Out of these 10, six are females and four are males. Among the males, three cannot breed as they have been vasectomised, leaving just one for mating purposes.

When asked about the breeding problem, zoo officials said that there are 12 tigers at Ludhiana Tiger Safari and if need arises, tigers could be shifted from there to the Chattbir Zoo. Speaking about the white tiger couple of Sourav and Dia, Kuldeep Kumar said that the loss is irreparable.

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