Govt. Rethinks Housing Exotic Animals At Mysore Zoo

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“Whoever heard of a zoo not having a resident vet on site at all times? Little wonder animals are dying if there is no vet to oversee the daily management of the animals. Check out the deaths that have occurred at this zoo (at the end of this post), something is definitely not right if animals are dying left right & bloody centre…one more reason to close zoo’s; wild animals do not belong behind bars for the benefit of human entertainment!”

MYSORE: The series of animal deaths at the Mysore Zoo has worried the Zoo Authority of Karnataka, which has now decided to take a relook at housing exotic animals at the facility.

Two of the five green anacondas shipped in from Sri Lanka died within a year.

Now, the death of African hunting cheetah Tejas, who helped the Mysore facility in captive breeding of the big cat, has forced the ZAK to sit up and take note. “It is something serious and has to stop. I’ve decided to take it up on priority,” ZAK chairman Maruthi Rao Pawar told The Times of India.

African Hunting Cheetah Dies At Mysore Zoo

Tejas is suspected to have died of heart attack.

The zoo officials have sent the viscera to the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals, Bangalore, for further testing.

According to vets, Tejas could have been killed due to the diet regimen here. Pawar said the big cat had high cholesterol (fat) which could have led to its sudden death. “We feed chicken and beef to the big cats housed in the zoo unlike abroad where horsemeat is fed,” he said.

Change in lifestyle in confinement could be a major contributor, a vet said.

Given the back-to-back deaths, we are awaiting lab results and taking a re look at housing exotic animals at the Mysore facility,” Pawar said, adding they will consult experts in India and abroad.

“We lack vets to attend to the animals at the Mysore zoo. I’ve taken up the issue with the government,” he said. “WTF…no vet on site, how utterly stupid & incompetent; perhaps had there been a vet on site the cheetah could have been saved!”

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News Link To Cheetah Death:-

Information on Mysore Zoo in India

Mysore Zoo (officially the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens) is a 245-acre (99 ha) zoo located near the palace in MysoreIndia. It is one of the oldest and most popular zoos in Southern India, and is home to a wide range of species. Mysore Zoo is one of the city’s most popular

Elephant & Calf at Mysore Zoo

attractions. It was established under royal patronage in 1892, making it one of the oldest zoos in the world.

While mainly depending on entry fees for its financing, an adoption scheme introduced in the early 2000s at Mysore Zoo has been a success, with celebrities, institutions, and animal lovers contributing directly to the welfare of the zoo inmates.

Mysore Zoo Death Incidents:-

The zoo witnessed a series of animal deaths in 2004 and 2005. In August 2004, a lion-tail monkey (macaque) was found mysteriously dead.[6] An emu and atiger were also reported to have died mysteriously. On September 4, 2004, an elephant died, reportedly of acute haemorrhagic enteritis and respiratory distress. It was reported that the illness in elephants were due to poisoning. As a safety measure, the zoo authority suspended several staff members who were allegedly responsible for the “gruesome killings”. Laboratory tests later confirmed that the two elephants, named Ganesha and Roopa, had been poisoned.[7] This was followed by another elephant death (Komala) on 7 September despite heightened security. Komala had been scheduled to be transferred to Armenia in about a month.[8]

On October 24, 2005, another elephant, Rohan along with his mate Ansul, died with suspicions of poisoning. The elephants were supposed to be sent toArmenia as a goodwill gesture. The Chief Minister of Karnataka immediately ordered a probe into the death of Ansul and Rohan.


Asiatic Lion Cub Loses Battle, Dies At Mysore Zoo

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MYSORE: The Mysore Zoo‘s six months battle to save an Asiatic lion cub has failed.

The seven-month old cub that was abandoned by her mother days after her birth in July; died on Wednesday.

Preliminary investigations have revealed the cub Chamundi died due to acute

Asiatic Lion

hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, executive director of the zoo B P Ravi said.

According to post mortem report released by the zoo, Chamundi was normal on Tuesday and consumed food in the evening. Early in the morning, she vomited and died by 8.45 am. She was weak and anaemic too.

Chamundi was the first Asiatic lion born at the zoo and struggled really hard for three months to survive. Though the zoo has successfully hand-reared other species, it could not save the cub which was housed at the zoo hospital since her birth.

Born to Gowri and Shankara, who arrived from the Sakkarbaug Zoo in Gujarat in 2010, on July 29 Chamundi was abandoned by her mother within two days. At first, it appeared the lion and lioness were getting used to the job of rearing their first offspring in captivity, but they abandoned the cub. Experts said lion cubs are usually rejected by the mother. Shankar was six and Gowri five when they sired Chamundi.

The cub was removed from the enclosure and put into holding room at the zoo hospital even as the Zoo Authority of Karnataka contacted the Sakkarbaug Zoo to get experts advice. The zoo authorities were told that survival of hand-fed lion cub are slim, but Chamundi pulled it off managing to intake milk initially and later switched to solid food by mid-November.

The zoo was feeding her chicken and soup to build immunity. Besides, a vet was assigned to monitor her, her holding room sanitized and temperature regulated. Except one animal keeper, no other staff was allowed near the cub to avoid her getting infected.

Mysore zoo is the only facility in Karnataka to house Asiatic lions, thanks to efforts by former cricketer Anil Kumble, who is co-vice chairman of State Board for Wildlife Board.

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Kumki elephant Kavita dies at BRT

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R.I.P Kavitha age 73, I hope you are now happy having crossed Rainbow Bridge. Kavitha was captured in Kakanakote forest in 1977.  BRT stands for:- Biligiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary or simply BRT Wildlife Sanctuary!”

MYSORE: Fears of alleged neglect of by the forest department have come true with the death of Kavita, a Kumki elephant, at the K Gudi camp in BRT wildlife sanctuary on Sunday.

Confirming the death, a source said camp officials reportedly failed to treat the elephant which was suffering from old age problems. “The elephant may have died of old age problems, but doctors failed to treat it,” a wildlife expert told TOI.

On Saturday, TOI had reported about Kavita’s suffering and the alleged neglect of officials to treat it.

Director of BRT wildlife sanctuary Vijay Mohan Raj had denied neglecting the elephant and claimed that the elephant was responding to treatment.

Kavita had participated in several Dasara processions in the past. It had lost its vision and was therefore left out of the list of Kumki elephants for this year.

Kumki elephants are female pachyderms accompanying the male elephants participating in Dasara processions.

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Grand reception: The elephants at the Mysore palace. Photo: M.A. Sriram

Gentle and tolerant, or tough and strong, elephants have character traits too…

This is that time of the year when elephants are in the limelight in Mysore.

Elephants have been brought from the jungle camps to Mysore, to participate in the Dasara festivities to be held from October 8 to 17.

Leading them is the elephant Balarama who will carry the 750 kg golden howdah on the day of the Vijayadashmi procession which is also called Jamboo Savari.

Getting to know them

Balarama is 52 years old and his height is 2.70 metres. He was caught at the Kattepura forest in Kodagu district in 1987 and has participated in the Mysore Dassera 16 times. A gentle giant with a mild temperament, Balarama is an affable elephant, according to his mahout. Keeping him company is Arjuna – 49 years old and 2.65 metres tall. He was brought to Mysore as long ago as 1969 from the Hebbala forests. But this tusker is aggressive when he gets annoyed.

Gajendra is another giant of 2.8 metres. Trapped in 1987 from Kattepura in Kodagu, he is affable and participates in the various religious ceremonies associated with Dassera.

Abhimanyu, at 44, is a “toughie” and a “hard task master”. He is used by the forest department to tame wild elephants on the rampage. Sarala and Varalakshmi also feature regularly in the Dasara celebrations.

The second batch of six elephants comprise the mighty Srirama, Mary, Vikrama, Harsha, Kavitha and Kanti who will join Balarama and company next week to prepare for the annual event .

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The second batch of Dasara elephants arrived at the Palace premises here on Saturday afternoon. 2010

Six jumbos-Srirama, Kanthi, Vikrama, Kavitha, Mary and Harsha were given a ceremonial welcome by the forest officials on their arrival. These elephants would be part of the first batch of jumbos led by howdah elephant Balarama to take part in the Vijayadashami procession, to be held as the grand finale of the nine-day Dasara festivities. In all, the 12 elephants would camp in Palace premises for the next 20 days till the Dasara celebrations come to an end.

The mahouts and their families of the six elephants also accompanied the jumbos.
The 53-year old Srirama is brought from K Gudi camp and has took part in Dasara for 13 years. While, Kanthi and Kavitha took part in Vijayadasahami for seven times and are brought from the same camp. Vikrama from Dubare camp will be taking part in Dasara for 10th time and Harsha from Dubare has took part in dasara festivities for 11 years. The elephant Mary will be taking part in Dasara for 10th time and is brought from Sunka- dakatte camp(Hunsur).

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Drought-hit Dasara elephants’ weight loss a worry

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MYSORE: Drought coupled with the neglect offorest department officials seems to have taken a toll on the health of Dasara elephants.

Most elephants in the first batch have lost weight up to 300 to 500 kg. Of the seven elephants arrived in the city, at least four have become weak due to lack of sufficient fodder. Elephants coming from B R Hills and Bandipur areas have fragile health, say wild life experts from the city.

Lack of rains and lantana replacing the bamboo, a major fodder crop, has made the elephants to suffer, say experts.
Another factor hampering the tamed elephants’ grazing habit is unlike wild elephants, they will not venture into deep forests. They are tuned to roam in a fixed territory for grazing.

“Once they return to base camps after Dasara, they are let free and never taken care of. There are no guidelines to feed the elephants after their return to camps from Mysore,” said an official in the forest department.
Though Dasara elephants at some camps are fed with paddy grass and ragi balls occasionally, they are not treated properly in all camps.


DCF S N Devaraju, who is in charge of Dasara elephants, denied the argument that the elephants have starved and are not healthy.

“All elephants, including Balarama, are ready to do their job. Balarama can carry the howdah anytime. We prepare and feed them for the occasion to ensure their good health. In the next 30 to 40 days, all elephants will be fed with nutritious food and this will make them gain weight between 200 and 350 kg,” he said.

Drought might have affected the fodder stocks of elephants in forests, but it does not mean that they are starving, he claimed.

Devaraju said the howdah elephant in the past used to carry more than 1,000 kg, but now it is only between 750 and 800 kg.

In the past, the elephant carried 750 kg of golden howdah along with then maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar and his maternal uncle or a relative. Now, the idol of goddess Chamundeshwari is only 15 kg, he points out, claiming that carrying howdah is not a big task for any elephant.

Special care

** While adult male elephants normally weigh between 4,000 and 5,000 kg, female elephants weigh between 3,000 and 4,000 kg.

** During Dasara, elephants are fed with highly nutritious food which helps them gain 10 to 15 kg extra on a daily basis. By the time of the grand finale, the elephants will gain weight between 350 and 500 kg.

** Menu of the elephants is prepared by veterinarians attending them. The diet contains jaggery balls, bananas and ragi balls.

** Mahouts are the most pampered lot during Dasara along with the elephants. Officials ensure that mahouts and their assistants are in good health and are counselled not to consume liquor. They are paid ex-gratia amount for their expenditures. This apart, their family members are provided with ration.

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“If you’re wondering what all the above is about, here is a video, in English; at least I’m honest, I didn’t have a clue what it meant…lol”

Uploaded by  on 28 Sep 2009

NDTV brings you Dasara festivities of Mysore.

3 People Caught With Tiger Pelt

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MYSORE: A six-month-old tiger cub has fallen prey to poachers, and is suspected to have been killed at BRT Wildlife Sanctuary, a tiger reserve in Chamarajnagar, bordering Tamil Nadu.

The poaching came to light following the arrest of three persons who were netted by a forest department vigilance squad posing as prospective buyers. They were arrested at Siddiahapura near Chamarajnagar and the tiger pelt and bones recovered from them. The officials are trying to locate where the cub was killed.

Sources told TOI that the cub may have been killed three days ago, given the freshness of the pelt. “How it died is yet to be ascertained as there are no bullet marks on the pelt. It could have been poisoned too,” the sources stated. The officials are sending the pelt and bones to the Bangalore-based National Centre for Biological Studies for further examination. The gender of the cub could not be ascertained from the pelt but said it could be a female.

The three arrested are Mahadev from Boodipadaga, Mahesh from Kullur and Narayan from Coimbatore, while two others escaped.

This is second case of poaching reported from tiger reserves in the Mysore-Kodagu-Chamarajnagar region. A tiger was killed in mid-February near Kushalnagar in the buffer zone of Nagarahole National Park, which came to light on April 7, after forest officials arrested one person at Naviluru in Periyapatna taluk in Mysore district. He later told police that they killed the tiger when they went hunting for deer and came across the big cat, and shot it.

This is story related to seizure of tiger pelt outside BR Hills tiger reserve in Chamarajnagar. This is second incident in recent times when the tiger pelt is seized in the area.

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