Mumbai: SGNP's tigress dies after long illness

Four-year-old Puja had been unwell since last September; veterinary doctors suspect she may have been suffering from blood cancer

Four-year-old tigress Puja passed away on Wednesday, following a long illness, at Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). While the exact cause of her death is yet to be determined, doctors who were treating her suspect that she may have had leukaemia (blood cancer).

Doctors say that Puja was also given laser treatment for her wounds, but she did not respond well to it
Doctors say that Puja was also given laser treatment for her wounds, but she did not respond well to it

Speaking to mid-day, Dr Sanjiv Pinjarkar, the veterinary officer at SGNP, said, “Puja died around 4.45 pm on Wednesday after a long illness. She had not been eating for the last two days. She died due to septicemia (infection of blood), which may have been caused by leukemia.

However, the exact reason of her death will only be determined after the post mortem is conducted.” Puja was born on November 27, 2011, at SGNP to tigress Basanti and tiger Palash. The four-year-three-month old tigress had been ill since last September. According to doctors, the tigress had been suffering from skin problems.

mainly on her tail, abdominal area and posterior. At the time of her death, she had several pus-filled lesions on her body. The technical advisory committee appointed by the SGNP, including current and former doctors from Bombay Veterinary College and the SGNP veterinary doctor, had been visiting Puja regularly.

In order to treat her wounds, she was also given laser treatment, but Puja did not respond too well to it. Her blood sample had been sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute for tests. Doctors said that Puja’s WBC (White Blood Cell) count was increasing, which could have been because of leukaemia.

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