LAHORE: An African lioness cub, born in captivity at the Lahore Zoo, passed away after a brief illness. This is the third cub to die at the recreational facility and now there are only six left in its cages, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The female cub, Angeela, had developed a serious condition after battling with gastritis and dehydration, which led to her death,” commented the Lahore Zoo spokesperson.
She said that best team of veterinary medical practitioners, including Dr Rizwan, the medical head of the zoo, and other senior consultants, had tried their best to save the life of the cub.
“She stopped eating a week earlier and was being fed through drips and syringes,” she added. “The cub was born in Lahore Zoo,” she added.
However, a zoo official, requesting anonymity, said that she died because of alleged negligence on part of the zoo staff.
The official added the lioness had been sick for at least month prior to her death.
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Talking to the media, Zoo Director Hassan Ali Sukhaira said this was a tragic incident which was exasperated by the fact that the recreational facility had lost three cubs in one month.
“Taking this incident seriously, the administration has planned to establish a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital in the area of the zoo,” he announced. The director added the hospital would work under the best medical practitioners.
“The zoo has planned to set up a web portal which will hold all the data of all animals’ health and treatments,” he said.
He further said the hospital also established pathological and hematological labs, while treatment rooms and ICU also would be established in the vicinity of Lahore zoo.
He said that through online data, the Zoo administration could not only oversee the animals’ health, but other wildlife parks and zoo administrations would also be kept up to speed.
He further said that the lions of the Lahore zoo belonged to the same family and therefore kept encountering different diseases due to an inherently weak immune system.
“To gauge see the situation, the administration also intends to import lions of another family for crossbreeding to get healthy cubs,” he added.
The Lahore zoo was established in 1872 and is one of the largest such facilities in South Asia. It is currently managed by the zoo Administration itself, while the Forest, Wildlife and Fisheries department of the Government of Punjab would earlier look after the animals.
In May this year, Suzi, Lahore Zoo’s only elephant, died after spending a few days with acute pain in her legs. She was only 31-years-old.
The African bush elephant had never experienced the pleasure of living in harmony with her own species. She was brought to the Lahore Zoo in 1992 when she was only six-years-old.
According to the zoo administration, the calf was named Suzi due to her friendly, docile demeanour.
Lion cubs a major attraction at Lahore zoo
Punjab University requested for Suzi’s skin for stuffing, while UVAS requested for her skeleton. Pakistan Museum of Natural History has also requested the skeleton.
However, Ali said he would prefer to give the skeleton to UVAS for its services in treatment of animals kept at the zoo. He further stated that the tusks of Suzi will be kept at the zoo.
UVAS administration had been asked for technology to decompose the body to get the skeleton. However, due to the lack technology, Suzi was buried at the zoo to allow decomposition.
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