A 22-year-old hybrid Asiatic lion died in the zoo here on Thursday morning, leaving a void in the lion enclosure of the zoo which will be almost impossible to fill in near future as there is a scarcity of pure and hybrid variety of lions in the country.
The lion was found dead at 4.30 am when the guards conducted routine inspection. The cause of death has been attributed to the disorder of heart leading to the failure of other vital organs, said Dr Muraleedharan, who conducted the autopsy.
In captivity, the longevity of lions would be 16-20 years. The dead lion here had crossed 22 which is quite beyond the maximum age of the caged animals, he said.
“The animal had been showing symptoms of internal organs failure for the past few days. The doctors suggested a treatment plan which we followed but the lion did not show any sign of recovery,” zoo superintendent K Sadasivan Pillai said.
The zoo authorities said the male Asiatic lion was shifted to here from Thriruvananthapuram zoo in 2005 following the request of the zoo officials here.
There is only one pure Asiatic lion in captivity in the country which is at the Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre near Vandalur zoo in Chennai.
According to officials, earlier there were many lions in the Thrissur zoo.
The entire population of lions at the Renuka Lion Safari Park in Himachal Pradesh is the progeny of a pair sent from Thrissur in 1977. With the death of this lion, the zoo is now left with no lion and lioness, the officials said.