BANGALORE: With tuberculosis being the cause of death of three out of the five bears that died at Bannerghatta Biological Park in the last one month, the authorities plan to test the blood samples of all the bears housed in the park.
“The idea is to isolate the infectious bears so that others can stay safe. At BBP, there are around 116 bears rescued from various places of the country. And it is our duty to keep them in sound health,” said Dr R Raju, Executive Director of Bannerghatta Biological Park, Bangalore.
He told Express that on Sunday, 13-year-old bear ‘Micch’ housed at Bear Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre maintained by SOS, an NGO, died. This bear had been rescued from one Khalendar family in West Bengal in 2010, and it was used for street performance. The bear died of tuberculosis.
Since December 2011, five bears have died at BBP, out of which three have died of tuberculosis. One has died of old age and another due to osteoarthritis and multi-organ dysfunction. The doctors who performed postmortem on all these animals opined that tuberculosis was one of the main reasons for their deaths. These bears were supposed to have contracted TB from humans.
Dr Raju said since most of the bears housed in the BBP were rescued from various parts of the country, it would be difficult to know the history of each animal.
“The health of these animals has been totally neglected,” he said.