Nikhil, one of the most iconic Royal Bengal Tigers at the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad, who was born and has lived in the city for the last 18 years, is reportedly critical and fighting for his life at the zoo.
Nikhil was born in October 1999, and the 18-year-old tiger has been suffering with brocho pneumonia for the past two months.
Nikhil is the twin brother of tigress Sakhi, who was ruthlessly murdered and skinned when she was only 13-months-old by poachers who sneaked inside the zoo park.
The accused, Mohammed Salahuddin, along with his two associates, reportedly broke open the locks of the cage at midnight and cut her jugular vein with a knife. They went on to tie sakhi with a rope and dragged her for a few metres, before they hung her on a tree and skinned her. The entire murder took place over a span of four hourrs.
The incident which had occurred in 2000, sent shockwaves across the city. Nikhil himself, refused to eat food for days after the incident.
At present, Nikhil has become weak, as he has stopped eating food properly.
He reportedly used to eat around 8kg of red meat, which has now reduced to 1kg of soft meat like chicken and mutton.
He has been currently shifted to intensive care, where his condition is being monitored by consultant Dr M Navin Kumar, retired deputy director of the zoo.
"Slowly, all his vital organs are degenerating. Both his kidneys are in a bad shape right now. His hind quarter has become weak and he is unable to move which is a clear indication that his kidneys have failed. He is restricting himself to a corner and is not responding to treatment either," Dr M Navin Kumar told The New Indian Express.
Dr Abdul Hakim, veterinary assistant director told Times of India that usually wild tigers can live up to 15 years but in captivity they can even live up to even 20 years, however, Nikhil has already surpassed his life span.
â€śNikhil is ill as he is developing old-age complications and not responding to the treatment. It is not consuming the feed properly. His condition is static and he is kept under observation. We are trying our level best to revive his health and increase his lifespan. We are giving him Vitamin A and D in the daily feed and merbomec for five days for improvement in health,â€ť M Hakim, doctor at Nehru Zoological Park told Deccan Chronicle.