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Bird flu: Leopards go on hunger strike

LEOPARDS IN the zoo here have put the authorities in trouble and providing two meals to them has become a serious problem for keepers and veterinary doctors. Zoo vet Dr Rajiv Tripathi said leopards were fond of fowls which were given to them before the bird flu scare spread.

india Updated: Mar 19, 2006 00:32 IST

LEOPARDS IN the zoo here have put the authorities in trouble and providing two meals to them has become a serious problem for keepers and veterinary doctors.

Zoo vet Dr Rajiv Tripathi said leopards were fond of fowls which were given to them before the bird flu scare spread.

However, when they were served fresh meat they refused to eat. To the surprise of zoo authorities they did not take food for seven days.

Finally, the authorities decided to serve them fowls. Taking precautions, the fowl meat is washed twice, put in boiling water, which is mixed with potassium permanganate to make it completely bacteria free.

Tigers are served fowls bred at the zoo poultry farm once or twice a week.
As the cats love to kill for food, fowls are left in their enclosure to satisfy their hunting instinct, Dr Tripathi said.

Meanwhile, a drive against stray rats has been launched in the zoo as these rats often enter into aviary and contaminate bird food.

Moreover, they sometimes bite the birds.

The body resistance of birds bitten by rats decline and they are then more prone to bird flu.

Therefore, rats were being killed using insecticides and by filling the holes where they lived with water, Dr Tripathi said. Besides, birds were also given anti biotic and vitamins every day to increase the body resistance. Their behaviour was being put under strict watch, Dr Tripathi added.

First Published: Mar 19, 2006 00:32 IST