Tiger deaths: Infection cause yet to be ascertained

Seven bigs cats isolated; Food being screened at BBP

Tiger deaths: Infection cause  yet to be ascertained

Speaking with mediapersons on Monday, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, B K Singh said that the exact cause of bacterial infection cannot be identified. “It can be either water borne or by food. It can be anything,” he said.

Following the deaths, the department has now begun to screen the food being given to the animals. Meat is examined before being fed to the animals. Two laboratory experts from the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals (IAHVB) and six doctors from Veterinary college, Hebbal have been working round the clock at the zoo. They have been assisting the zoo authority in the screening of the food also.

“Though we cannot test the meat everyday, we are making a visual assessment with certain parameters. The animals are now recovering,” said Dr Renuka Prasad, Director, IAHVB.

However, officials are suspecting that the infection, e-coli and salmonella, could have been caused by chicken feed which was fed to the wild cats. An official said that supply of chicken feed, suspected to be the cause for spread of infection has been stopped.

Singh said that as many as seven tigers, including three cubs have been isolated from the rest of the wildlife. “The segregated tigers are in critical condition. The tigers, Minchu, Anu, Arya (white tiger) and Gauri along with three of her cubs have been kept under close observation,” he said.  

The condition of Minchu and Arya is worse. It is believed that Minchu is suffering from kidney failure and may not be able to survive the night. The two rescued tigers, Lava and Rani have also been infected and kept under observation.

Meanwhile, Youth Congress members along with animal activists on Monday staged a protest in front of the Forest Department office in the City. They accused the officials of being hand-in-glove with the food suppliers and providing sub-standard food to the animals at BBP.

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