Lion succumbs to congenital health issues caused by inbreeding in Tirupati Zoo

According to the official, the lion was very short and had chronic health issues which required treatment for a long time.

ByPTI

Published Dec 19, 2023 | 1:15 PMUpdatedDec 19, 2023 | 1:15 PM

Lion safari at Tirupati Zoo. (Sourced)

A seven-year-old male lion succumbed to congenital health conditions which arose due to inbreeding at Sri Venkateswara Zoo in Tirupati, a forest official said on Monday, 18 December.

C Selvam, curator, Sri Venkateswara Zoo (Tirupati Zoo), said that the lion named Anurag died due to multi-organ failure on Sunday morning. The big cat battled health issues with almost all its organs, he said.

“This lion was born in the zoo and had genetical health problems since birth. Its right eye had cataract resulting in blindness. Also, the zoo is a place where a lot of inbreeding happens,” Selvam told PTI.

Lion suffered genetic anomalies 

According to the official, the lion was very short and had chronic health issues which required treatment for a long time. Considering its health condition, the zoo did not use the lion as a display animal, but accommodated it separately in the rescue centre.

Nine days before its death, the lion was in a critical condition and stopped eating food, he said, adding that the veterinarians tried their best to revive it.

Further, the Indian Forest Service officer said that inbreeding is common in zoos, which can lead to congenital conditions in animals. This is why zoos go for animal exchanges to usher in newer gene pools, bloodlines, and pedigrees, he said.

Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University authorities conducted the postmortem.

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