Jeevan Dada sits riddled with emotions, as he feeds Chotu, 35-year-old Himalayan black bear at the Indore zoo, for the last time on Friday.
The bear, which is lying paralysed in Indore’s Kamla Nehru zoo for the last three years, will be put to rest on December 5, after a team of doctors and Central Zoo Authority (CZA) approved the request of euthanasia on Friday.
Dada, who has spent half his life raising the bear since his birth in the park, had resisted the proposal to euthanise the animal and requested for more medical efforts to keep the animal alive when the proposal was floated last year.
“How could I?” he asked, as he fed Chotu for the last time on Friday. The last couple of years have been very painful for the animal, he added.
Chotu was not able to change his posture from one side to the other side and it was Dada who used to help the animal in changing position.
“We had invited the best of the doctors for his treatment. Many attempts had been made in last three years, but we could not cure or lessen the pain of the animal,” said zoo in-charge Dr Uttam Yadav. The animal has crossed the average life span of a Himalayan Bear, he added.
In August 2015, with the consent of Jeevan Dada, it was finally decided to euthanise the animal to put his unbearable pain to rest and a proposal was sent to CZA in this regard. “I understood it was time to bid him final goodbye,” said Dada, while caressing the furry animal.
On Friday, the CZA officials, a team of three doctors, representatives of a couple of NGOs took the final decision to euthanise the animal.
“Chotu will be euthanised tomorrow (Saturday) at 11 am after which his last rites will be performed. It will be a painless procedure,” a nostalgic Dr Yadav told HT.