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Monday, November 29, 2021

Injured lioness off feed for 10 days at Vadodara’s Sayajibaug leaves zoo authorities worried

Zoo curator Patankar said that the lioness was restricted to her night enclosure to allow healing but the wound turned "slightly septic", thus necessitating a procedure under a team of doctors from the Anand Veterinary College.

Written by Aditi Raja | Vadodra |
Updated: November 17, 2021 7:28:37 pm
The lioness inside Vadodara's Sayajibaug zoo recuperates on Wednesday after undergoing a surgery for an injury sustained under her chin on the eve of Diwali. (Express Photo by Bhupendra Rana)

A lioness at Vadodara’s Sayajibaug zoo sustained an injury under her chin and has been off feed for close to ten days, zoo authorities said.

According to the curator of the zoo, the source of the injury of the lioness, Gayle, is not known but a gash was spotted under the chin on November 3 that was later operated upon on November 9.

Zoo Curator Dr Pratyush Patankar told The Indian Express that Gayle, who shares the enclosure with the lion, Kunwar, could have injured herself while scratching using her claws or while rubbing against a bamboo surface in the enclosure.

Lioness Gayle inside Vadodara’s Sayajibaug zoo shares her enclosure with Kunwar, a lion. (Express Photo by Bhupendra Rana)

Patankar said, “We do not know how she injured herself but we recently undertook bamboo enrichment in the enclosure and it could have caused a deep injury while scratching against the surface, as big cats are known to do to… A male lion has a full-grown mane around the neck but even the lionesses have thick fur and this injury has cut through the fur and could be spotted with blood oozing out. I spotted the injury on November 3 and told the keepers to watch her but they said she was fine. The next morning, they became concerned with some blood and we immediately called in a veterinary doctor.”

Patankar said that the lioness was restricted to her night enclosure to allow healing but the wound turned “slightly septic”, thus necessitating a procedure under a team of doctors from the Anand Veterinary College.

Patankar said, “The veterinary doctor here, who checked Gayle on November 4, told us that she would be off food for about four to five days… But since the injury did not heal and was showing signs of septic, we called in the team of doctors from Anand Vetenirary college, who performed the procedure and sutured the wound on November 9. They also told us that she would remain off food for about five days… but it a concern now that she has not yet begun taking her meals and has become weak.”

Both Kunwar and Gayle are 13-years-old and were born in 2008 in Junagadh. (Express Photo by Bhupendra Rana)

The zookeepers have been keeping Gayle hydrated with energy water, mixed with tonics and supplements.

Patankar said, “She has been consuming the liquids… it could be due to the pain in the injury that she has been off meals… records show that big cats have stayed off feed for about 20 days even in the wild and then slowly begun hunting… we are hoping for the best.”

The lioness, authorities said, has completed her course of antibiotics and has not damaged her sutures.

Both Kunwar and Gayle are 13-years-old and were born in 2008 in Junagadh. The pair was brought together at Sayajibaug in 2010. The Vadodara zoo is slated to soon get a new pair of lion and lioness from Junagadh.

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