Last surviving tiger cub dies in zoo

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Last surviving tiger cub dies in zoo

TNN 21 November 2009, 06:08am IST

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LUCKNOW: The `cub saga’ at the city zoo ended on Friday with even the fourth one succumbing to its health problems. There are no new tiger cubs at zoo now. The last one remaining of the litter of four born to royal Bengal tigress, Ipshita, fell victim to cardio-respiratory failure on Friday morning.

The tigress had given birth to four cubs between November 8 and 9. The first cub died on November 10 and the second one on November 15. The zoo authorities said they died of hypoglycemic shock which indicated very low level of glucose in their blood.

The third one to die was the albino cub. It died on November 18 due to cardiac arrest. The zoo authorities denied that any infection could have caused their deaths after the cubs were brought to the veterinary hospital and were getting hand-reared.

The mother, Ipshita, abandoned all of them and had stopped exhibiting any maternal instincts for her newborns ever since they developed health problems, one after the other. There is a strong belief among the authorities that cubs were genetically weak to survive.

Ipshita had aborted twice earlier when she was mated with her partner, Shishir. She and her partner belong to the same stock from Nandan Kanan zoo of Odisha. They had mated only when they came to Lucknow zoo.

The authorities have now felt the need to study the family tree of Ipshita and Shishir to work out their history. “We spoke to Nandan Kanan director to provide us with the family chart of the tigers,” said Renu Singh, zoo director.

The two might have born out of inter-breeding or some recessive gene might have flared up in the cubs. All this could be worked out by tracing the family history of the tigers.

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