BBP in damage control mood

After deaths of three tigers, the park talking to DFRL to procure bacteria testing kits

A lull: Tigers relaxing in one of the holding houses at the Bannerghatta Biological Park on Thursday. Dh Photo/ Poornima Nataraj

In the wake of the death of three tigers - Divya, Minchu and a tiger cub due to bacterial infection, BBP wants to test the meat supplied before being fed to the animals.

“These kits are used for testing milk supplied to the soldiers at the border. We do not know if the kit will work on meat; if it works then we will procure them," said M N Jayakumar, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests. BBP at present houses 82 lions and 48 tigers at rescue centre and at the safari.

Jayakumar said the BBP was also in talks with certain technologists in the City to create a huge microwave oven that can disinfect microbes in 500 kg meat at a time.

A similar microwave oven is used in a Canadian Zoo where 1,000 kg meat is microwaved for a short time before feeding it to the animals.

Eighteen tigers fell ill after eating contaminated chicken, with three of them succumbing to infection. After the deaths, BBP issued a show cause notice to the contractor Fayaz Pasha for supplying contaminated beef/chicken and suspended his contract. However, no FIR was lodged.

“Dr Basavarajappa, the vet, has been terminated from his services as BBP feels that he was less than responsive in his action," said B K Singh, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden.

Preventive measures

Further preventive measures taken by the BBP include- building two holding houses with six cubicle cells as per the rules of the Forest department; shifting the bone pit for disposing meat waste two km away from the animal enclosures; building a footpath containing potassium permanganate (PPM) at the threshold so that people's feet are disinfected before they enter the animal cells; collecting meat samples everyday and keeping them in a freezer and dipping meat in PPM before it is fed to the animals.

More doctors

The Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) sent a proposal to raise the Zoo Veterinarian Cadre from 6 to 12 doctors. An exclusive Zoo Veterinarian Cadre will also be recruited by 2012 as the post-graduation subject on Wildlife Medicine was introduced this year at the Veterinary College where five students have enrolled. 

ZAK will also start a one-year PG Diploma Courses in Zoo Management in collaboration with the University of Mysore.

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