Oldest lioness dies of cardiac arrest in Patna zoo
- Urvashi was brought to Patna zoo in 2004 from Bokaro. Authorities said she had almost completed her life span and had turned toothless and inactive about two years back.
The oldest lioness at the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, popularly known as the Patna zoo, died on Thursday late evening. Zoo officials claimed that the 18-year-old lioness, Urvashi, was not only the eldest inmate of Patna zoo but also the oldest among hybrid lionesses across all the zoos in the country.
Urvashi was brought to Patna zoo in 2004 from Bokaro. Authorities said she had almost completed her life span and had turned toothless and inactive about two years back.
Patna zoo director Amit Kumar said the lioness had stopped eating since a couple of days. “She was unwell since the last two years due to ageing, so a group of veterinary doctors were monitoring her health and diet on a regular basis. After the advice of veterinary experts, she was shifted to a secluded place, away from public eyes.”
“The prime facie examination indicates that the lioness died due to cardiac arrest. A group of veterinary doctors, including experts from Bihar Veterinary College conducted a post-mortem of the deceased. Tissue samples from her lungs, liver, kidney were collected and sent to IVRI Izatnagar lab, Bareilly for further tests. Report is yet to arrive,” he added.
Kumar said the average life of a lion is between 7 to 10 years in a forest and 16 to 18 years in captivity.
“After the lioness’s death, we are maintaining extra vigil to monitor the health and safety of other inmates,” said a senior zoo official.
In December last year, Patna zoo had reported the death of a male lion, Sheru, due to septicaemia shock. Now the zoo is left with two male lions.
Lions are currently categorised as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened species.
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