Four leopards die in Tripura zoo

Agartala: Four common leopards have died in Tripura's Sepahijala wildlife zoo and sanctuary since Monday due to Felina babesiosis, a tick-borne malaria-like illness, an official said here on Friday.

"All the four common leopards died in the zoo. We have held an emergency meeting with K.K. Sharma (an official at the College of Veterinary Science, Guwahati) and taken all precautionary measures to ensure the safety of other animals," said zoo director Krishna Gopal Roy.

"We have tested the blood samples of the dead leopards in two government-run laboratories in Agartala and confirmed that the animals died due to Felina babesiosis," Roy told IANS over phone.

The official, however, said that all the 13 endangered Clouded Leopard in the zoo were healthy and the wildlife experts and doctors were looking after them very carefully.

Wildlife experts felt that the infection from the first common leopard, which died on March 23 due to the infection, is believed to be transmitted through mosquito bites.

"We have taken all kinds of measures to control further spread of the disease at the zoo and follow the advice of experts and guidelines of the Indian Veterinary Research Institute," added Roy.

He also said that two common leopards, rescued from Kaziranga National Park in Assam by NGO Wildlife Trust of India will be brought here soon.

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