Ageing Byculla zoo lioness too ill to be kept in cage | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Ageing Byculla zoo lioness too ill to be kept in cage

mumbai Updated: Jun 02, 2010 01:07 IST
Bhavika Jain
Bhavika Jain
Hindustan Times
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Visitors to the Byculla zoo will no longer be able to see Anita, the 22-year-old lioness.

She is getting old and grumpy because she has been ill for a long time and zoo authorities shifted her to the zoo hospital, where she will spend the rest of her life.

Veterinarians at the zoo feel she is too old to be living in the cage.

The pure breed Asiatic lioness has fallen seriously ill in the past 20 days.

She is suffering from an abscess in her rear side. She was extremely critical for five days.

“Anita is recuperating, but she is not yet eating solid food. She will not be shifted back to the cage,” said Dr Sanjay Tripathi, the Byculla zoo veterinarian.

Anita was bought from Gujarat in 1991 when she was three years old.

The main reason for the prolonged illness is her age. She is extremely old.

The average lifespan of lions in captivity is 20 years, while in the wild lions live for 15-16 years.

Authorities have been in touch with a specialist doctor from Anand Veterinary College in Gujarat so that she can get the best treatment.

Her diet earlier consisted of 10 kg of meat, but she has not been eating anything in the last 15 days.

The zoo has another lioness Jimmy who is 12 years old.

More than 70 per cent of the animals in the zoo have passed their average lifespan.

Most of them are not very visitor friendly and keep to themselves.

The zoo officials can only bring new inmates after the ambitious Rs 433 crore-zoo makeover is completed according to an order by the Bombay High Court.

The Byculla zoo is home to 189 mammals, 499 birds and 43 reptiles.