Kunti, the Royal Bengal tigress and pride of Delhi zoo, died on Wednesday due to natural causes.
The 21-year-old tigress died as she had grown old, zoo officials said later in the day. A tiger, on an average, lives for 18-20 years. The death of Kunti has come as a shock to officials of the zoo, officially known as National Zoological Park, which had lost a Royal Bengal tiger last Monday.
According to many, repressive heat — Wednesday saw the maximum temperature in the city shooting up to 43.6 degree Celsius — is also a problem for the big cats.
Zoo director Amitabh Agnihotri, however, denied the tigress’ death was related to heat.
“Kunti had been eating less for some time now, but she otherwise was not sick,” he said.
Kunti’s death leaves the zoo with just five Royal Bengal tigers apart from other white tigers. Ramu, the oldest male Royal Bengal tiger at the zoo, last Monday.
Prior to that, a few weeks ago, a white tiger cub had died within a week of its birth.