A Royal Bengal male tiger ‘Kadamba’, aged eleven years, died at the Nehru Zoological Park on Saturday night.
The zoo curator Kshitija told The Hindu that Kadamba died all of a sudden due to heart failure at 9.20 p.m. Since Kadamba was not taking his food since Friday morning, he was administered saline on Saturday after his condition became serious. The animal became too weak. The authorities were planning to collect his blood samples and take up a test on Monday, but death came too soon even before they could react.
Ms. Kshitija said the zoo authorities initially believed the illness may have been due to temperature fluctuation on account of changes in the weather. A release of the curator also said Kadamba was brought to Nehru Zoological Park from Pilukula Biological Park at Mangalore on March 6, 2014, under an animal exchange programme. With his death, the zoo now has 20 Royal Bengal tigers, including 11 yellow and 9 white. There were eight adults and three cubs among yellow tigers, but all the white tigers were adults.
Three yellow tigers Roja (21), Soni (20) and Aparna (19) have already surpassed their average lifespan. Ms. Kshitija also said the zoo has drawn up a breeding plan with the three tiger cubs in view of the ageing of three adults. The breeding was stopped for a couple of years, but now they were trying to pair the tiger cubs and looking at their compatibility.
The release added Kadamba did not show any apparent signs of illness earlier, but was off feed frequently for the last few days. He was under observation of the zoo veterinarians. As per the post-mortem report, the cause of death of Kadamba was shock due to congestive heart failure. All the required blood and tissue samples were collected and sent to College of Veterinary Science at Rajendranagar, Veterinary Biological Research Institute at Shantinagar and LaCONES-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology at Attaapur for further investigation.
The post-mortem was conducted by a team headed by Prof. Laxman, head, Department of Pathology, at the College of Veterinary Science.