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Zoo tiger death: Post-mortem rules out external injuries

Rama fell sick on July 29 after which it stopped eating. The tiger was on a liquid diet for past several days and later stopped eating entirely. It died of multiple organ failure Friday.

Written by Shivam Patel | New Delhi | Published: September 22, 2019 3:15:16 am
delhi zoo tiger dies, royal bengal tiger dies in delhi zoo, delhi city news, indian express news Two yellow Royal Bengal tigers remain at Delhi zoo. Archive

The Post-mortem report of Rama, the eight-and-a-half year old Royal Bengal tiger who died in Delhi’s National Zoological Park Friday, shows there were no external injuries, a zoo official said Saturday.

This discredits allegations raised by activists that the tiger was attacked by keepers, said R A Khan, zoo curator. An examination report by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Uttar Pradesh, is awaited, he added.

“The post-mortem report does not mention that there are any external injuries. There were allegations that the tiger was hit on the head. Nothing like that has been found,” he said.

Reports also pointed to the tiger’s broken canine tooth. A zoo official clarified that the tooth broke around September 13, when the tiger was undergoing treatment in a squeeze cage. A squeeze cage, which has movable walls to prevent movement of the animal, is used for treatment of animals, including administering injections and application of medicines.

“It was already distressed and had deficiency of calcium caused by an increase of phosphorous in its blood. When it attacked the bars of the cage during treatment, its canine broke, which was then recorded and taken into custody,” a zoo official claimed.

Khan said the zoo would receive more clarity on the matter after IVRI sends its report and a three-member Central Zoo Authority committee starts probing the events leading to Rama’s death.

Rama fell sick on July 29 after which it stopped eating. The tiger was on a liquid diet for past several days and later stopped eating entirely. It died of multiple organ failure Friday.

It had attacked a 50-year-old zookeeper, injuring a finger in his right-hand, 10 days ago.

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