April 25, 2020 4:24:15 am
The National Zoological Park in Delhi lost its oldest tiger Thursday evening. Kalpana, a 13-year-old white tiger, died around 6 pm. She had fallen sick three days ago.
“The tigress, our oldest cat at the zoo, passed away due to renal failure caused by old age, as per the vets at the zoo and tiger specialist Dr A B Shrivastav and his team,” said zoo director Suneesh Buxy.
As per current protocol across zoos in the country, the animal’s sample was sent for coronavirus testing. “We are just following protocol but there were no symptoms of coronavirus found in the tigress,” said Buxy.
According to a source, the Indian Veterinary Research Institute has confirmed that the tigress was found negative for COVID-19.
Earlier this month, a tiger had tested positive for coronavirus at the Bronx zoo in New York, causing zoos across the world to sit up and take stock of things. At least eight big cats have tested positive since at the Bronx zoo.
Buxy said Kalpana had stopped eating on April 20. A source at the zoo told The Indian Express, “As soon as we realised the tigress wasn’t eating and had become less active, the vet was informed to begin treatment.”
Kalpana was born at the Delhi zoo and had given birth to three tigers over five years ago — two females named Nirbhaya and Seeta and one male called Tipu.
A source said, “ The premises are being sanitised routinely. Sanitisers, masks and gloves have been provided to staff. We are closely monitoring the health and behaviour of all animals at the zoo. ”
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