Born in captivity, tiger cubs fall ill at Patna zoo
Three tiger cubs born on Juy 31 in Patna zoological park face the threat of death after they came down with severe infections, fever and convulsions.
Incidentally, one of the two cubs born to an Asiatic lioness on August 15 died recently, leading to some alarm for zoo handlers and the administration. Zoo director, Abhay Kumar said that on August 19 the cubs stopped taking food.
As the animals had developed convulsions and fever, they were taken to the zoo hospital and were kept under the constant supervision of zoo doctor. Even then their condition kept deteriorating. "We invited Abhijeet Bhawal, a doctor from the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), Guwahati, to avoid any risk of loss of the animals. Now, the local medical team is following his guidelines," he said
Though the animals are showing some signs of improvement, some tests and check ups were done even on Monday. One among the three cubs has started accepting external feeding, but two others are still surviving on medicated fluids, he added.
Denying chances of any external infection, the zoo director said, the mother tigress seems to have passed on the infection to its cubs.
Tigress Swarna, too, had developed some infection and stopped feeding cubs on August 18. The young ones became very weak because of lack of food. In the morning of August 19, one of the three cubs was removed from Swarna's cage as it had developed fever and convulsions and needed immediate medical attention.
The two others were also removed from the cage the same evening due to similar kind of problems, he said. The zoo director said, that the Patna zoo has recently lost an Asiatic lion cub and cannot afford to lose the tiger cubs.
In fact, breeding of tigers in captivity is very rare. Even at the Patna zoo, the tiger cubs were born after a gap of nearly two decades. While the animals have great potential of earning good revenue, they are also important to the zoo for its animal exchange programme.
Unfortunately, Patna zoo lost one Asiatic lion cub because of typical animal behaviour. It died because of injuries caused by its own mother. It was difficult to take the cub out of her mouth,he said.