'Shiva's quiet behaviour unlike captured tigers'

'Man-eater' lodged in Mysore zoo suffers from poor health, depression

'Shiva's quiet behaviour unlike captured tigers'

Most wild tigers, when captured and held in captivity, exhibit ferocity and aggression for several days. But such is not the case with Shiva, the man-eater tiger who was captured by the Forest department on Thursday.

Shiva who has spent three nights and two days in the Mysore zoo, has been exhibiting peculiar behaviour. Except for struggling in his cage during the night (in an attempt to escape), the tiger has been completely sedate during the day.

Though he has been consuming food and water, he looks very weak and dull. The tiger, who is said to be suffering from severe bacterial infection, is said to be running a fever and is also under great depression.

Blood samples collected from Shiva show that the count of white blood cells (WBCs) is way higher than the normal range. The WBC count in Shiva as on Thursday night is 31,500. The normal range is 7,000 to 15,000.

The injuries he has sustained on his body had been infested with maggots, which have been removed. It is yet to be ascertained whether the infection is systemic or localised, and his prognosis has been guarded.

Currently high dosages of antibiotics are being administered to Shiva. Blood samples will be taken again soon and tests done, which will establish whether the animal has responded to the treatment or not, and whether or not he will survive.

Zoo staff who work with big cats confirmed that Shiva’s behaviour was unlike the other wild tigers when captured. They said that the tiger was not at all ferocious and active. This condition is being attributed to his ill health.

Zoo executive director B P Ravi told Deccan Herald that the tiger was coping well.
“There were some external injuries. Turmeric powder, which works as an antiseptic, is being sprayed on them.

He is eating, sleeping, urinating and defecating. Shiva’s eyes are clear and not cloudy. His drowsiness has also come down. These are indications that the tiger is doing well,” he said, adding that Shiva had eaten 10 kg of beef on Saturday.

Ravi said that the quill stuck near Shiva’s mouth had been removed and added that the scat samples that are being collected will be sent for analyses on December 9.

Shiva will be moved to Bannerghatta Biological Park, only after the doctors treating him declare him healthy.

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