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14-year-old leopardess dies in Chennai zoo

- January 19, 2022

Chennai, Jan 19 (BPNS)

The Postmortem report of a 14-year-old leopardess at Arignar Anna Zoological park has revealed that esophageal rupture and pulmonary hemorrhage as the primary reasons for the death of the big cat.

The leopardess, Jaya had died on Monday after it was squeezed inside the poorly maintained rusty cage at the zoo. The postmortem conducted by the veterinarians of the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) said that the leopardess ribs were squeezed leading to the cut-off of oxygen flow to its lungs.

A Zoo official while speaking to BPNS on conditions of anonymity said, “ Nasal swab samples of animals including lions and leopards were taken and 14 samples were sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal diseases for testing. The samples of this leopardess were also taken but while releasing the animal the cage got jammed and the animal was squeezed inside. We could not rescue it.”

Tamil Nadu Chief Wild Life Warden, Shekar Kumar Neeraj while speaking to BPNS said, “National level experts will be roped in for a total review of the management practices in the zoo. Some shortcomings are observed here and I have already written to the Central Zoo Authority to depute expert veterinarians on a consultancy basis.”

Covid has affected the Zoo with 70 staff becoming positive and the animals were also affected. According to staff in the Zoo, during the pandemic of 2021, several Lions had tested positive due to Covid -19 and 2 died of the disease.

It may be noted that the Vandalur Zoo which houses the Arignar Anna Zoological Park is going through a deep financial crisis and a proposal for sanctioning an amount of Rs 12 crore was presented to the state government. The Zoo is mainly affected due to the paucity of funds as the gate collection, which has been the major source of revenue for the zoo, has dropped drastically following shutdowns and closures due to pandemics.

The zoo department is expecting the state government to provide the necessary support as well as rope in a few private corporate companies so that their CSR funds could be used for this project.