CHENNAI: Bheeshma, a 16-year-old white tiger, died of prolonged illness in 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 Express that the white tiger was being treated due to an age-related illness for the last three months.
“The tiger was suffering from ulcer and both his hind legs were paralysed. He had also developed 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 and skin for conducting clinical examination which would reveal the exact cause of death. After being informed about the death of white tiger, chief wildlife warden Shekhar Kumar Niraj visited the zoo and interacted with managers and veterinarians. He also checked on lions that are undergoing Covid-19 treatment.
“I spoke to the 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 is regularly sending animal samples for random Covid testing,” Niraj told Express.
Vandalur zoo deputy director also said the lions are far better than how they were a month back. “Soon, we will send samples for Covid negative testing.” Meanwhile, the official said 50 doses of CDV vaccines have arrived from Etawah Safari Park in Uttar Pradesh. The veterinarians will take a call on when to vaccinate the big cats.