Mumbai: SGNP doctors, staff save the king of the jungle

Updated: Jul 14, 2018, 08:22 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

The oldest lion from the National Park, Ravindra, had to be treated for a wound to his paw, which had endangered his life

Mumbai: SGNP doctors, staff save the king of the jungle
Foreground L to R: Sachin Patil, RFO Sanjay Waghmode, Dr Shailesh Pethe, Rajendra Bhoir with others who saved

The lion safari at Sanjay Gandhi National Park has just three lions, so the health of each matters. A couple of months back when the oldest lion, 15-year-old Ravindra developed an injury in one of his front paws, it became a matter of great concern. The six inch deep wound worsened endangering the lion's life. Thanks to his keepers and doctors, he was saved and is slowly being reintroduced into the safari.

One day in May, the staff at the lion safari noticed Ravindra limping into his cage. They informed the Veterinary Officer at SGNP, Dr Shailesh Pethe, who found he was in pain. The left front leg of the big cat was badly swollen. Dr Pethe said, "We were very worried as treating an animal in his old age is very challenging. On May 4 the lion was tranquilized to understand the nature of the injury."


Shifting the 250 kg animal into a squeeze cage for treatment was another challenge for the team. When Ravindra was tranquilized, the paw was inspected by Dr Pethe. He said, "We found that blood and pus had accumulated in the six inches deep wound. He might have been hurt by a thorn. The wound was cleaned and the operation lasted for almost 45 minutes." Due to blood loss from the wound, Ravindra had become anaemic and was very weak. He was shifted to his original shelter by May 14 and given antibiotics. After the third week of May, Ravindra was completely fit.

Staff and doctors' care
Range Forest Officer and Superintendent of the Tiger and Lion Safari, Sanjay Waghmode said, "The doctors including Dr Shailesh Pethe, Dr CC Wakankar and Dr Manish Pingle and our staff played a very crucial role, because of which Ravindra is fit." Chief Conservator of Forest and SGNP Director Anwar Ahmed, said, "It is because of the care taken by the dedicated veterinarians and animal keepers at our park that Ravindra survived."

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