Mumbai: SGNP keeps a close eye on tigress Beauty's health

With death toll of animals at Sanjay Gandhi National Park reaching an alarming six in the last four months, officials of the park are monitoring the health of the recently recovered tigress

The series of deaths of animals in captivity at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in the last six months have become a major cause for concern for authorities at the park. Officials are keeping a close eye on the health of the young tigress, Beauty.

One-and-a-half-year-old Beauty had fallen ill a week after she was brought from Nagpur
One-and-a-half-year-old Beauty had fallen ill a week after she was brought from Nagpur

They claim that she has recovered completely from her ailments, thanks to the efforts put in by her doctors. Beauty was suffering from severe indigestion when she was brought to the city from Nagpur two months back.

An SGNP doctor who was treating the tigress said, “When she was brought to Mumbai in December, she had fallen ill within a week and was unable to eat properly. Our major concern was her problem of indigestion. There was a time when we feared that she might not be able to survive.

Thanks to the team of experts who worked hard to treat her, we were able to save her life.” At that time, due to her condition, Beauty’s behaviour had become restless and she was showing signs of aggression. An official said, “The people treating her were extremely worried as we feared her condition may worsen.

We immediately started medication and reduced her food intake to minimise the pressure on her digestive system. Thankfully she responded well to the treatment.” The official added that the technical advisory committee, including veterinary doctors from Bombay Veterinary College, current and former, and doctors from SGNP, took care of the tigress.

To evaluate the exact cause of Beauty’s ailment, doctors also conducted a sonography and are currently awaiting medical reports, including her blood sample reports. With the recent death of tigress Puja at the park on Wednesday, authorities are now monitoring the health of every animal at the park.

Speaking to mid-day, Sudhir Mungantiwar, state Forest Department Minister said, “The death of animals in captivity in SGNP is a matter of concern. I will ask the Chief Conservator of Forests to provide details about the deaths reported in the last six months, including the reason for their death.” SGNP director Vikas Gupta was unavailable for comment.

About Beauty
The one-and-a-half-year-old tigress was brought to Mumbai after she was hit by a train, which fractured her hind limb bone. Beauty is named after the wife of former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s wife Satvasheela, which also means beauty. She was brought to SGNP to attract tourists coming for tiger and lion safaris.

While doctors treated her fracture by inserting a steel rod to support her hind limb, a week after she was brought to the city, Beauty started suffering from major indigestion. Officials said that the reason for her ailment could be because of the sudden climate change from Nagpur.

Recent deaths
>> 12-year-old lioness Shobha was suffering from gynaecological problems and passed away in October 2014
>> 20-year-old leopard Raja died of old age in the same month
>> 13-year-old female leopard Nethra passed away in November. Post mortem report indicated minor haemorrhages in the intestine
>> In the same week, 18-year-old leopard Daksha died of old age
>> 14-year-old leopard Poman passed away after a bacterial infection in December 2014
>> 4-year-old tigress Puja died on February 4, 2015. Doctors suspect she may have died due to leukaemia

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