The 18-year-old lion, Kalu Junior, the oldest among the three inside Vadodara’s Kamatibaug zoo, died unexpectedly on Monday morning, leaving zoo officials surprised as despite the age, the lion was hale and hearty until late Sunday night.
Although officials are awaiting forensic reports, the zoo authorities said the lion had internal bleeding between the throat and oesophagus, giving rise to a question about some injury.
At around 8 am on Monday, when Kalu Junior’s cage keeper arrived to pat him as usual, he found that the 18-year-old male lion dead. Kalu was brought to the Kamatibaug zoo in 2002. Officials conducted a forensic examination to ascertain the cause of death of the lion.
The report is expected to arrive on Tuesday. However, zoo officials said that the lion had severe internal bleeding between the throat and the oesophagus.
C B Patel, zoo in-charge of Kamatibaug said, “All parameters were normal even during the forensic. However, we noticed that there was some profuse bleeding from the region between the lion’s oesophagus and throat. It is possible that the lion may have eaten some sharp bone in its meal that may have caused injury. However, that is only a suspicion. Since he had also aged, the death could be merely because of age-related issues.”