CHENNAI: A 16-year-old white tiger Bheeshma died after a prolonged illness at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park (Vandalur Zoo) on Tuesday. The tiger tested negative for both Covid-19 and Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), which caused havoc in the zoological park recently.
Naga Sathish Gidijala, Deputy Director of Vandalur Zoo, told The New Indian Express that the white tiger was under treatment for age-related illnesses for the last three months.
"The tiger was suffering from ulcer and both his hind legs were paralysed. He had also developed an abscess due to restricted movement. The condition deteriorated in the last two days as the tiger did not accept any food. He was found motionless on Tuesday afternoon. The postmortem was conducted and preliminary medical examination revealed that his kidney also failed," sources said.
The zoo has collected additional samples of vital organs, skin etc for conducting a clinical examination, which would reveal the exact cause of death. After being informed about the death of the white tiger, Chief Wildlife Warden Shekhar Kumar Niraj visited the Vandalur Zoo and interacted with managers and veterinarians.
He also checked on the lions that are undergoing Covid-19 treatment. "I spoke to Vandalur Zoo Director Debasis Jana and the treating veterinarians. All the lions are on the road to recovery, which is good news. The zoo has beefed up its Covid prevention measures and regularly sends animal samples for random Covid testing," Niraj told The New Indian Express.
The Vandalur Zoo Deputy Director also said the condition of the lions is far better than a month ago. "Soon, we will send samples for Covid testing," he said. Meanwhile, the official said 50 doses of CDV vaccines have arrived from the Etawah Safari Park in Uttar Pradesh. The veterinarians will take a call on when to vaccinate the big cats.