One of the eldest male Royal Bengal tigers at Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), 13-year-old Palash died Tuesday morning, said veterinarians.
The tiger’s body was burned at the park’s crematorium on Tuesday by forest officers after conducting a post mortem.
HT had reported on Tuesday that the tiger had a fit on Monday after it was unable to urinate owing to its condition. SGNP veterinarians had detected a renal failure — a condition in which the kidneys lose the ability to remove waste and balance fluids — for the tiger last Wednesday.
“After trying our best to save him, Palash died at 3.15 am on Tuesday. He had not been eating for the past four days,” said Dr Shailesh Pethe, veterinarian, SGNP. “His serum creatinine levels had shot up and he died due to excessive weakness.”
Pethe added that a post-mortem was conducted on Tuesday and the exact cause of death would be inferred from the results that are expected in a couple of days.
He said that animals with high protein diet such as tigers are prone to renal issues and most carnivores are susceptible to renal issues at old age. The lifespan of tigers in captivity is between 14 and 16 years. “We had experts from Bombay Veterinary College visiting SGNP and his treatment was underway. The tiger had been put on saline but there were minimal chances that he would survive,” said Pethe.
Forest officers said that Palash was responsible for 80% of the tiger population in SGNP as the remaining tigers are his progeny. “We were extremely nervous over the past week due to his health. It is a great loss for SGNP as he was greatly loved by all our staff,” said Shailesh Deore, range forest officer, SGNP.
Forest officials added the health issues were detected from a blood report earlier last week that identified the renal failure. “While treatment was being provided, the problem of old age nullified the efforts,” said Vikas Gupta, chief conservator of forests, SGNP.
Palash was the second eldest tiger and eldest Royal Bengal tiger at the park after 16-year-old male albino tiger Bajirao.
Palash had fathered four offsprings – two male, Yash and Anand and two female – Laxmi and Puja. Puja, a four-year-and-three-month-old Royal Bengal tigress, died on February 4 last year at the park as she was suffering from septicemia also known as blood poisoning, since September 2014.
In August this year, twin sister Royal Bengal tigresses were brought to SGNP from Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra and were named Bijlee and Mastani by the park officials.
Currently, there are seven tigers at the national park — four female Royal Bengal tigers, two male and one white Albino tiger.