Friday, Dec 19, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
A lion, a tigress, a Himalayan black bear and a pig-tailed monkey were shifted to Vandalur Zoo to ensure that their biological life was not curtailed since they were identified as single animals without a pair.
Following a request from D. Karthikeyan, Corporation Commissioner, (in the wake of the death of the tigress), a team of Veterinary doctors, led by Joint Director of Animal Husbandry, T.N. Palanivel, along with V.N. Rajagopal and A. Sivaramakrishnan, Assistant Directors, visited the Zoo today with a mobile testing laboratory. Blood and dung samples would be examined at the labarotary in Coimbatore besides sending them to the Central University Laboratory at Madhavaram in Chennai.
As an ad-hoc measure, recommendations were made for de-worming, inclusion of more nutrition and protein in the animals' diet. Going by physical appearance alone, the animals didn't seem to have Tuberculosis and only lab test reports would confirm it. Even if it was TB, it was curable and remedial medical care would be suggested, the doctors said. The animals might be looking weak due to worms, or it may be signs of emaciation.
N.S. Manoharan, Director of the Zoo, told The Hindu that to avoid utilisation of curative medicare facilities, as per the Central Zoo Authorities direction, the Zoo was cleaning the cages daily and de-worming all the animals once in three months.
Urine, dung and faecal samples of all the animals were normally sent to the laboratories of the Animal Diseases Investigation Unit of the Animal Husbandry Department at Variety Hall Road here and to the University Training and Research Centre of the Tamil Nadu Veterinary Sciences University, Chennai. The practice of biologically non-invasive sample collections were being resorted to carefully in a bid to prevent the animals from suffering shock, stress and capturemiopathy. Natural therapy of sprinkling turmeric mixed in water as an antiseptic was also being done in the cages to kill germs, Dr. Manoharan said.
Use of antiseptic medicines and cowdung inside the cages was scrupulously avoided to prevent the animals from licking them.
As captive animals, the lion and the tigress would have had some lesion in the lungs and the results of the post mortem would certainly throw light on whether the animal had tuberculosis. The animal had lived its lifetime standing testimony to the ideal habitat in which it lived in excellent health condition, the Zoo staff pointed out. The animals were also provided with a vitamin and mineral mixture in their routine diet to nourish them.
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