Thursday, 14 May 2015

NEWSLINK: 2-yr-old Sanjay Gandhi National Park tigress dies

A two-year-old tigress died due to a brief illness at Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivli around 8pm on Saturday. Tigress Beauty is the seventh big cat to have died at the national park since October last. Officials at the national park said that Beauty had been diagnosed of 'cystitis' of the urinary bladder. 

Simply put, it means that the bladder had developed an infection, causing difficulty in passing urine. 

Chief conservator of forests Vikas Gupta, who is also the field director at the national park, said that a team of veterinarians had been attending to the tigress since 10 days as she was unable to pass urine. "Though urine was being removed at regular intervals with the help of catheters but she appeared to be under a lot of stress. She suddenly collapsed last evening [Saturday]," Gupta told TOI. 

The vets treating the tigress said that Beauty had similar issues earlier and had been treated for the same. "The condition recurred," said veterinarian Sanjiv Pinjarkar. "She had trouble passing urine as her bladder had lost elasticity and was holding back urine." 

While the detailed post-mortem report is awaited, the initial finding suggests that the condition was prevalent for a year and a half. 

Beauty had been brought to the city from Nagpur where she had been hit by a train. The bone of a hind limb was fractured in the accident due to which a steel rod had to be inserted for support. Soon after reaching Mumbai, the tigress was initially taken ill due to a change of climate. 

Officials at the national park remember Beauty as a "survivor". Gupta said that after having survived the train accident, she had a similar medical condition earlier. "This time too, death was the last thing on our minds. Beauty's death is extremely sad and shocking," said Gupta. 

The tigress's death has once again raised concern over the well-being of big cats at the national park. Activists claimed that the park authorities are not doing enough. Animal activist Sachin Roy said that many of the recent deaths could be attributed to "negligence of the authorities". 

Roy, who has recently written to the chief minister seeking action against the authorities, said that the big cats are few in number and utmost care must be taken. 

However, officials attributed most of the deaths to old age. "There has been no negligence on our part. Many of the big cats are very old and not in very good health. As for the leopards which are in our care, they were rescued and were never in their pink of health," said Gupta, adding that diagnosing an ailment in a wild animal is not as easy as it is in the case of humans. 

Currently, a 19-year-old white tigress, Rebecca, is undergoing treatment for cancer at the national park.

Article here

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