THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A 14-year-old male hyena and its seven-year-old male cub, housed at Thiruvananthapuram Zoo here were subjected to special video endoscopy on Monday. The endoscopy was conducted following suspicion of entry of indigestible foreign materials into their digestive tract.
An autopsy conducted on a 14-year-old female hyena which died a week ago at the zoo had revealed plastic materials inside its stomach. It was following this that the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo authorities decided to conduct a thorough examination. An expert team of doctors were brought in to conduct the endoscopy. The team was led by Vijayakumar, a video endoscopy expert and an assistant professor at Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University and Syam K Gopal, a surgeon and M K Narayan, anaesthetist, both of them from Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University. The director of Zoo and Museum, D Udayavarman was also present.
Even though no foreign particles were found inside the stomachs of the hyenas, the older one was diagnosed with gastric ulcer and the younger one with mega oesophagus, a condition in which the oesophagus swells to abnormal size.
Director Udayavarman said that the gastric ulcer was common in carnivorous animals and it was curable as it was only in the starting stage. However, the mega oesophagus of the younger mammal was a thing of concern. ‘’The condition of the animal is serious. We suspect it is a genetic disorder,’’ said Udayavarman.
There were four hyenas in the zoo, out of which one died. The third hyena was not subjected to endoscopy as it showed no signs of illness.