Poultry products off menu at Bannerghatta park

Following the outbreak of bird flu in the City, the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) has stopped feeding chicken to its animals.

Though the BBP now buys packaged chicken from a private outlet, the zoo authorities have dropped poultry items from the menu, as a precautionary measure.

Carnivorous animals, unlike humans, can digest raw chicken even if infected, opine veterinarians. The BBP, however, as a safety measure has banned feeding of poultry products to animals.  

Four tigers and a three-month-old cub that developed salmonella infection, after they were fed chicken, and died in 2010 has put the BBP on high alert.

In the past chicken were killed, cleaned on the zoo premises and later fed to animals. But now packaged chicken is served to animals.

The BBP is under pressure to protect animals from all kinds of infections that could prove fatal, in the light of recent deaths of sloth bears.

Under pressure

The 15-yeard-old tigress Rajeshwari that has been suffering from lumbar spondylosis, degeneration of the lower spine for many months has put the zoo authorities under duress.

The tigress gave birth to a cub, a year ago. She developed spondylosis soon after the delivery. As the cub frolicks with the mother, the pain in her hind legs only increases.

The veterinarians are unable to do a MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and a CT scan on the tigress as recommended by orthopaedics, as the zoo is not equipped.

A few months ago, when an animal had to undergo an ultra sound scanning, the equipment had to be hired from a private hospital.

Noting the lack of facilities and the recent deaths, the zoo authorities seem to be in no mood to risk feeding poultry products to the animals.

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