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Home / Mumbai News / Captive Royal Bengal tiger dies at Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Captive Royal Bengal tiger dies at Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Anand, one of the star attractions of SGNP’s tiger safari, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in early July similar to its brother Yash that had died last May at the age of 12.

mumbai Updated: Jul 09, 2020 10:50 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
At present, Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) is home to five Royal Bengal tigers, including four females and a male.
At present, Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) is home to five Royal Bengal tigers, including four females and a male.

Anand, a 10-year-old male captive Royal Bengal tiger, died at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) on Thursday early morning.

Anand, one of the star attractions of SGNP’s tiger safari, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in early July similar to its brother Yash that had died last May at the age of 12.

Yash had died due to a soft tissue muscular tumour, or rhabdomyosarcoma in medical parlance.

Anand was also suffering from a kidney ailment.

“Anand died at 5 am on Thursday and its post-mortem examination will be done later in the day by a team of veterinarians,” said Vijay Barabde, range forest officer and superintendent of the lion and tiger safari at SGNP.

In June, veterinarians at the park had identified a lump in Anand’s jaw and also an unusual growth on the left side of its lower lip. “Anand’s blood test had revealed that it was suffering from a chronic renal disease, while a malignant tumour was identified after a biopsy was conducted by Mumbai Veterinary College authorities. However, the exact cause of its death will be known after the post-mortem examination report is made available to us,” said a senior SGNP official.

Anand had stopped eating solid food for the past 10 days, said Barabde. “It had become weak and its diet for the last 10 days was restricted to chicken soup. The kidney ailment had also worsened. Its most recent blood test results showed that its serum Creatinine count was 40, while 5-6 is considered normal for tigers. Anand’s death is a big loss, as it was born and bred at SGNP,” he added.

The average lifespan of tigers in captivity is between 14 and 16 years, said Shailesh Pethe, a veterinarian at SGNP.

At present, SGNP is home to five Royal Bengal tigers, including four females and a male.

Sultan, who is four-and-a-half-years-old and the lone male Royal Bengal tiger, was brought to SGNP from Gorewada rescue centre in Nagpur last December.

In August 2019, twin Royal Bengal tigresses were brought to SGNP from Pench Tiger Reserve in Nagpur.

Park officials christened them as Bijlee and Mastani.

Basanti (18) and Laxmi (10) are the other two female tigers, who make up the Royal Bengal population at SGNP.

Basanti had mothered four cubs --- Yash, Anand, Laxmi and Puja --- of whom only Laxmi is alive.

Earlier, Puja had died in 2018 after a long battle with Septicaemia.

“Basanti has become old and infirm. It is suffering from chronic knee and leg pain, which has largely restricted its movement,” said Barabde.

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