Yet another tiger, a cub, dies in Bannerghatta

September 18th, 2010 - 7:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Sep 18(IANS) A tiger cub died in the Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) here in the wee hours Saturday, taking to five the number of tigers that have died in the park in the last one week, a top official said.
“The one-and-half-month old cub died around 4 a.m. It was healthy,” B.C. Chittiappa, the park’s assistant director for veterinarian services, told IANS.

Besides the five tigers, two lions, a herbivorous nilgai (blue bull) and a sloth bear also have died in the park, a major tourist attraction, about 20 km from here.

The deaths have prompted the central government to seek a detailed report from the park authorities as well as the state government.

A team from the state’s Institute of Animal Health and Veterinarian Biologicals (IAHVB) is investigating the animal deaths.

A four-year-old safari tigress, Divya who was also the last of the Siberian tigers reared at the BNP, died Sept 12. An autopsy report revealed death due to infection of salmonella bacteria that causes typhoid in human beings. It is spread by water and food.

The other three tigers, two lions and the sloth bear died of old age ailments, the park official said.

The cub, yet to be named, was healthy Friday but turned dull by the evening. She however, did not show symptoms of infection, Chittiappa said.

“We gave anti-biotic injections and put the cub in a different cage to isolate as well as to keep warm,” he said.

“The night patrolmen found her dead when they went to check around 4 a.m.,” Chittiappa said.

“The cub drank water from a cup before it was found dull. We have sent the body of the cub for autopsy to determine the exact cause of the death,” Chittiappa said.

The nine tigers — a white tiger, two old tigers Arya and Surya, the dead Divya’s mother Anu, and two siblings Minchu and Inchara, Sumatran tiger Rocky and two Royal Bengal tigers — in the park had showed symptoms of infection and were treated with syrups and anti-biotic injections.

“Seven have recovered completely and the rest two are on the way to recovery,” Chittiappa said.

About 16 animals have died in the park in the last 10 months, officials said.

The Bannerghatta National Park (BNP), established in 1978, is spread over about 20,000 acres and is surrounded by dense forest and shrub land.

It houses 1,300 animals, both carnivores and herbivores. Over 1,300 kilograms of meat, mostly beef, are supplied to the park for feeding animals every day.

The park also has a crocodile farm, a butterfly enclosure and a snake park.

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