Gwalior, Nov.27 (ANI): The death of an old lion in Madhya Pradesh's Gwalior Zoo has cast a pall of gloom on the officials as it was the second death here within a week.
Most of the employees believe that the 16-year-old lion Raja died due to old age but they are awaiting the post mortem report to ascertain the actual cause of the death.
The fact that a four-horned antelope also died three days earlier has aggravated the tension.
According to Narendra Sharma, a zoo official, the lion had stopped eating and passed away before the veterinary doctors could attend to him.
"The exact reason behind the death will be known after the PM (Post Mortem) reports. He was 16 years old. He did not eat food Friday night. Though, we called doctors but he died before anything could be done," Sharma said.
Gwalior Zoo, has some species of Indian wildlife kept in natural surroundings. It has become a conservation zoo for Satpura National Park in Madhya Pradesh.
Asiatic lions are found only in India and, at present, there are about 300 of them in the Gir national park in Gujarat.
Unlike the tiger, which prefers dense forests with adequate cover, the lion inhabits the scrub-type deciduous forests and open habitats.
In the mid-20th century their number was less than 15, as the Maharajas and princes for whom the majestic animal was the most coveted game vigorously hunted them.
The population stabilised after a breeding programme was launched in the Gir sanctuary in the 1960s. (ANI)