Ranchi zoo loses fourth big cat in 10 days

RANCHI: A white tiger at a Ranchi zoo died of babesiosis, a fatal disease transmitted by the bite of an infected tick, raising the death toll of big cats here to four in the past 10 days.

The white tiger, which was ailing for 10 days, died late on Monday at the Birsa Munda Zoological Park here.

The first tiger died on July 9 and a leopard died the very next day. Another tiger succumbed to the disease on July 13.

The white tiger was the first of the four animals to fall ill. Doctors said the tiger died of renal failure after battling the disease for 10 days.

“It seems that the white tiger was badly affected before the disease was diagnosed by the vets. We are hopeful that we will not lose more tigers in the zoo,” said A K Singh, principal chief conservator of forests.

The state government constituted a seven-member medical team and round-the clock vigil was conducted, but the tigers could not be saved. The seven-member team included Abhijit Biswas and G L Ghosh.

The zoo authorities claim that the condition of the other ill wild animals are improving.

There were a total of 19 big cats in the zoo. Four of them have died and five are suffering from babesiosis. The sick animals are being administered glucose, dextrose, liver tonic and energy boosters.

For the animals,
Laura Lluellyn-Lassiter

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