As many as 55 animals at the Thiruvananthapuram zoo died in a span of a year, reveals information accessed through the Right to Information Act.
Between October 2016 and 2017, 17 birds, 32 mammals, and six reptiles died at the zoo. The number of deaths reported at the zoo increased compared to the previous year, when a total of 24 animals died.
The RTI information, which was provided to a television channel, however, stated that it did not come to its notice whether there were any lapses on the part of the zoo staff in taking care of the animals.
The zoo lost two animals, a lioness and a sloth bear, in October this year in a span of two days. A 17-year-old lioness named Aishwarya died on October 12. She had been shifted to the zoo hospital in September owing to age related ailments and was under special care. The lioness was transferred from the Vandalur zoo in Chennai in 2008 when it was eight years old.
Ravi, a sloth bear died on October 11. The 30-year-old animal, which was suffering from liver damage, died due to hepatic cancer. Ravi was brought to the zoo from Mysore zoo in 1992 when it was five years old.
A female jaguar died at the zoo in April. Sangeetha, the 24-year-old jaguar’s death was due to age-related ailments.
It was in March that Seetha, the lone zebra at the zoo died following a cardiac arrest. The 25-year-old zebra had been housed at the zoo for 15 years.
The Thiruvananthapuram zoo officials, however, said that most of the deaths were caused by age related ailments. “There has been no outbreak of infectious diseases in the zoo. The only problem we face in the zoo is the infighting of deer. The deer population has increased considerably and there are 200 deer now. The infighting had caused deaths,” zoo veterinarian Jacob Alexander told TNM.
“We have been building new cages for some birds and animals to replace the old decayed ones. That causes inconvenience now. Leaving that aside, there has no big issue in the zoo and we are managing it with the best of our capacity,” he added.