A male Himalayan bear died of snakebite at the National Zoological Park, the second such death in the span of a week
An adult male bison had died of snakebite on July 28 at the park, also known as the Delhi zoo. Incidentally, the bear's death is the sixth at the zoo since July 7.
The 24-year-old bear that died on Wednesday was brought to the zoo in 2004 after its rescue from a bear trainer in Rohtak.
"The bear was a mature, old one… had lived a full life. But it died of snakebite which was evident from the result of
the post-mortem," said RA Khan, the zoo's curator (education).
Two male and two female bears remain at the zoo.
The curator said there were several ways snakes could enter cages.
"There are so many ways that the snakes make way into the cages and enclosures of the animals," said Khan.
With large green areas, shrubs and sprawling lawns, the zoo abounds with snakes and other reptiles, especially during the monsoon. However, their numbers are kept in check by peacocks, peahens and weasels.
The delay in rains and increased humidity could have forced reptiles into the open in large numbers.
The recent deaths have come nearly five years after a rhinoceros had died from a snakebite.
Since July 7, the zoo has seen deaths of two lionesses, spotted dear, bison and a Nilgai.