Friday, August 03, 2007

Lion in Junagadh zoo on a hunger strike!


Lion in Junagadh zoo on a hunger strike!

Times of India Ahmedabad Edition By: Nayan Dave / TNN

Rajkot: Staff at Junagadh’s Sakkarbaug zoo, including vets, are at their wits end trying to figure out why a seven-year-old lion, Sawan, is refusing to eat anyting for the past 13 days.

A host of medical tests, blood and urine reports indicate that the physical condition of the inmate is normal. He is not even love sick as there is a mate available.

According to Conservator of forest Bharat Pathak, “Sawan abruptly stopped taking food. Initially we believed that he might be suffering from stomach ache or some minor illness, but when he rejected food for three days from July 17, we put him under medical observation.”

Since July 19, a bottle of glucose is being regularly administered intravenously to the lion and a veterinary doctor is exclusively attending to him.

Pathak said, “We are also administering some antibiotic medicines through injections and vets are constantly monitoring his condition in a bid to find out the reason for his strange behaviour.”

“When one-year-old Sawan was brought to Sakkarbaug zoo in the year 2000, he was injured, having fallen into a well in Visavadar forest range. Earlier, on two occasions, he had rejected food, but that was due to illness,” Pathak added.

Veterinary officer Dr C N Bhuva said, “The blood reports do not indicate anything abnormal medically. However, the immune system of the animal has become weak. The lion is on an antibiotic medicine regime and care to see he gets enough fluid. Blood samples have been sent to a private laboratory for culture test (bacteria identification and drug sensitivity) and the authorities are awaiting the reports hoping that it would be able to pinpoint the reason for the ‘hunger strike’ by the lion”. (Inputs by Divyang Trivedi)

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