Tiger alert

Published: Saturday 31 January 1998

following the death of two tigresses in Lucknow, the Central Zoo Authority (cza) has alerted all zoos in the country to protect tigers and leopards against Feline Pan Leukoenia, a highly contagious viral disease which affects only members of the cat family. The chief wildlife warden of Uttar Pradesh, R L Singh said that the disease was hitherto unheard in India.

When the disease strikes, the cats stop eating, suffer from dehydration and high fever and eventually die. Only in rare cases, where the animal has strong resistance power, survives. The first case was reported from the Bhopal zoo in March last year, when four tigers and three leopards died of the disease. The cza , considering the incident as an isolated one, did not take any preventive measures. But the incident in Lucknow prompted the cza to issue the alert. According to Singh, the disease will not affect the population of tigers and leopards in Indian zoos. "The breeding rate of tigers and other members of the cat family is high and at times we have to keep their numbers in check because of the over population of these animals," he said.

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