Ghaghas, a 21-year-old Asiatic lion died due to old age at the National Zoological Park in the Capital on Wednesday.
The Asiatic lion was not keeping well for last many months and suffered from paralysis a few days ago. “Ghaghas had been seriously ill for last few days and had showed signs of deterioration since this morning,” said a zoo official.
The average life expectancy for a captive lion is 18 to 20 years, zoo officials said. Ghaghas was brought from Junagarh sanctuary to the National Zoological Park, popularly known as Delhi zoo, when it was just seven years old.
Zoo officials said, except for the paralysis developed recently, Ghaghas was not ill otherwise but showed all signs of ageing. For instance, in absence of the famed strong teeth, the ageing lion was given boneless meat. Zoo staff took great care of the food intake and also fed tonic supplements for strength.
Ghaghas was not taken out of the cage and was provided all care within its cage itself. In winters, the cage had a heater right next to the lion while in summer the heater was replaced with a cooler.
After Ghaghas’s death, the Delhi zoo is now left with seven Asiatic lions (three male and four female). One male Sundaram and female Akila too have developed paralysis, zoo sources said.