No foul play in animal deaths at Bannerghatta park: Acharya

There are 1,300 animals in the Bannerghatta Biological Park
Sixteen animals have died since January last

Bangalore: Home Minister V.S. Acharya, who held a meeting of senior officials of the Karnataka Zoo Authority and Forest Department on Tuesday on the death of four animals in the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) on the outskirts of the city, said that there was no foul play in the deaths.
Speaking to presspersons, Dr. Acharya, who chaired the meeting in the absence of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, said that two lions — Lakshmana (20) and Shankar (23) — died a natural death, because of multiple organ failure, owing to aging. King, a 21-year-old tiger also died of the same reason. But, Divya, a four-year-old tigress died of gastroenteritis.
Post-mortem had been conducted and they were buried strictly according to the protocol formulated in 1997. He said that in some cases, the skin and nails would be removed and preserved before burying the animals. The case history of each animal that died in the zoos would be maintained.
He said that Divya was given antibiotics and 12 bottles of saline by two specialists. Another tiger had also been infected and was under treatment.
There are 1,300 animals in the BBP spanning over an area of 1,750 hectares. He said that 16 animals, including five tigers and lions each, died since January last. General sanitation was maintained in all the zoos in the State and the animals were being provided with clean water from the borewells. Periodic medical check-up was also done.
A zoo official said that the animals were not safe in the wild, where they are open to diseases and other difficulties leading to their death and injury. But, in the safari, they are taken care of and live till they died a natural death. Divya had not died due to suspended, pathogenic or chemical impurities in the water. The cause of the death could be stale food, he said.
Dr. Acharya said that zoo authority purchase 1,300 kg of mutton/beef daily at a cost of Rs. 9 crore annually. Carnivorous animals eat six days a week and fast every Tuesday. There are 150 tigers, lions, leopards and hyenas.


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