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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Injured lioness in Vadodara zoo dies of ‘renal failure’

The zoo authorities are now concerned about the reaction of Kunwar, her 13-year-old partner, who has been looking out for her ever since she was shifted from the enclosure following the injury. 

Written by Aditi Raja | Vadodara |
November 21, 2021 8:37:28 pm
LionessThe lioness that underwent a surgical procedure to treat the wound had been off feed for several days. (Express file photo)

Gayle, the 13-year-old lioness at Vadodara’s Sayajibaug zoo, died early Sunday, close to three weeks after she sustained an injury under her chin.

The lioness that underwent a surgical procedure to treat the wound had been off feed for several days and died of renal failure, the zoo administration said on Sunday.

According to Dr Pratyush Patankar, curator of the Sayajibaug zoo, the primary report of the autopsy indicated a renal failure, while a detailed analysis of tissue samples would be undertaken at the Anand Vetenirary College this week.

Patankar told The Indian Express, “Gayle had turned weak after being off-feed for several days due to the injury and the treatment. The course of antibiotics was completed and she had even resumed eating little meals for two days prior to her death but she continued to remain weak… we lost her in the early hours of Sunday.”

“Before she underwent the procedure, her creatinine level was high and was a cause of concern… but she had been taking liquids and the renal output was beginning to stabilise in the past few days,” he added.

Patankar said that he last visited Gayle at 1.30 am on Sunday when she responded to his call. “Since her injury, I used to check on her once at night. When I visited at 1.30 am on Sunday, she looked up and wagged her tail when I called out to her… But by morning, the caretakers called me to inform me that she was no more,” he said.

The zoo authorities are now concerned about the reaction of Kunwar, her 13-year-old partner, who has been looking out for her ever since she was shifted from the enclosure following the injury.

Patankar said, “He would stroll every morning to see her. They would have a small interaction through the grill and then he would go about his day. If she was not to be seen, he would wait for some time or come back to see her… We will see how he will react when he won’t see her from tomorrow.”

Kunwar and Gayle, both born in 2008 in Junagadh, were brought to the Vadodara zoo in 2010. However, in the old, smaller enclosures of big cats, Kunwar and Gayle were separated by a grill.

“It was only when we moved them into the larger open enclosures that we allowed them to be together. We even documented their mating phase… They have been together for 13 years but in separate adjoining cages. For a year or so, they were in the same enclosure but were separated at mealtimes and at night to avoid aggression,” Patankar said.

As per the rules laid down for disposing of dead Schedule I animals, Gayle was cremated after the autopsy. Patankar said that the source of Gayle’s injury was not known and it is likely that she could have injured herself while scratching using her claws or while rubbing against a bamboo surface in the enclosure.

Authorities first spotted the gash under her chin on November 3. When the wound turned “slightly septic”, a procedure was undertaken by a team of doctors from the Anand Veterinary College on November 9. Gayle stopped eating for over two weeks and was kept hydrated with energy water mixed with tonics and supplements.

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