Stale meat suspected for death of tigers

Dr R N Srinivasa Gowda, well-known pathologist and former Vice Chancellor, Karnataka Veterinary Animal and Fisheries Science University (KVAFSU) said that the meat supplied might be either contaminated or stale leading to the breeding of bacterial organisms such as salmonella species.

“Feeding unhygienic meat is always risky. It needs to be tested often to the bacterial load. Contamination of bacterial organism such as salmonella species will cause typhoid resulting in diarrhoea, weakness leading to fatality. This is what has probably happened at Bannerghatta,” said Dr Gowda, an advisor to Born Free Foundation, which brought some of the tigers to Bangalore from London in 2001.

A top forest official too concurred with the view that chicken feed was not the sole culprit. “Meat, particularly beef is supplied in large quantity to the animals. Chicken is very little in proportion,” he said. Gowda reiterated that with the infection being severe, the animals now needed time to recover.

He suggested disinfecting the place and shifting animals from the enclosure. The entire place including the grills should be burnt to make it free from bacteria, he said. Salmonella bacteria and e-coli were found in the blood sample of the three-month old cub which died on Saturday.

Dr Renuka Prasad, Director, IAHVB confirmed that the cub too died of the same infections. He said Gowri, the tigress and her three cubs have been shifted from the enclosure.

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