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Another Royal Bengal tigress dies at SGNP

mumbai Updated: May 11, 2015 16:36 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Royal Bengal tigress


Days after the only white tigress underwent her second round of chemotherapy at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), a two-and-a-half-year-old Royal Bengal tigress, Beauty, died on Saturday evening at one of the park’s rescue centres.

According to officials from SGNP, a team of veterinarians had been treating her for the past 10 days, after she stopped passing urine or stool. A post-mortem revealed Beauty had been suffering from chronic cystitis, a blockage of the urinary tract caused by an infection in her urinary bladder.

SGNP veterinarian, Sanjiv Pinjarkar, said: “The post-mortem report revealed she had been suffering from the disease for nearly two years. In January, a catheter with medication was passed into her stomach.” Pinjarkar added the problem was a recurring one.

Around 8pm on Saturday, the pressure reached her intestines, causing her to collapse. She passed away soon after.

Pinjarkar said Beauty’s condition had been fragile in January, when the catheter was surgically inserted. “At any moment on applying the least bit of pressure, her bladder could have burst, leading to her death. However, we managed to save her at the time,” said Pinjarkar.

The tigress was brought from a forest near Nagpur in December last year, where she was involved in a train accident and suffered multiple fractures on her left hind leg.

“Beauty was a fighter. We were quite shocked by her death,” said Vikas Gupta, director and chief conservator of forest, SGNP. “We brought her to SGNP after she had undergone treatment for a year at Nagpur. She had a metal rod inserted in her foot that helped her walk again. She had also responded well to treatment at the beginning of the year,” he said.

In February, another Royal Bengal tigress Puja had died of septicemia, also known as blood poisoning.

# Feline cystitis can occur in both female and male cats. It is a chronic disease that can be difficult to treat and frustrating for the afflicted animals

Symptoms include:
* Frequent attempts to urinate

* Straining to urinate

* Urinating in inappropriate places

* Crying out during attempts to urinate

* Blood-tinged urine

Although the cause of feline cystitis is not fully understood, changes in the body as a result of stress are thought to play a large part in the formation of the recurring disease. Sometimes, a mild infection can also turn into a recurring one because of stress.(Source: SGNP Veterinarian and

Big cats falling sick
* SGNP is home to five Royal Bengal tigers (three male and two female, after the death of Beauty)

* In January, veterinarians noticed an infection in the paws of Anand, a six-year-old Royal Bengal tiger. Anand had to be kept in isolation, as the infection was communicable. “We operated on Anand’s paws and took out the nail that was causing the infection,” said Sanjiv Pinjarkar, SGNP veterinarian

* In December, Basanti, a 12-year-old Royal Bengal tigress, was diagnosed with Trypanosomiasis (anorexia, constipation, lethargy and convulsions). She had stopped eating and ran high temperature. Her blood test revealed her platelet count had dropped from 1,90,000 to 17,000. Veterinarians provided a daily dose of antibiotics until her platelet count increased.