Leopards at the Assam State Zoo have refused to eat mutton after chicken was taken off the menu following the outbreak of bird flu in several districts, leaving the authorities worried.
"We are really worried as all the 14 leopards, 15 jungle cats and two clouded leopards in the zoo have refused to eat chicken served to them for the last two days," zoo director Narayan Mahanta told PTI in Guwahati.
He said since the ban on bird meat, the zoo had stopped the daily supply of 23 kg of chicken.
"We first gave the leopards raw mutton and when they refused it, cooked minced meat which they have also refused to eat," Mahanta said.
"It is a cause for worry as for the last two days the animals had only about 10 to 30 per cent of their normal diet ... We are keeping a watch," he said.
Singling out 'Caesar' a full grown leopard, the zoo director said the animal was never been fond of beef which was a favourite for the big cats and preferred chicken.
"Caesar, very popular among visitors, has practically not eaten anything for the last couple of days," he said.
Each jungle cat earlier had 500 to 700 gm of chicken every day, and the leopards upto three kg. "It remains to be seen how they respond in the coming days."