KOLKATA, India, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Many world famous Royal Bengal tigers in the mangroves on Sunderbans are suffering from starvation, an Alipore zoo official in this capital of Indian's eastern state of West Bengal said Saturday.
This came to light when a seven-year-old tiger had strayed into a village recently from the jungles and had to be captured by the state forest department officials and brought to the zoo for treatment of his weak hind leg.
The zoo official said the tiger's blood and liver function test reports have shown indication of prolonged starvation. The weak hind portion of the tiger is also a cause for concern.
This tiger's case, state forest department officials, apprehended, was an indication that many other tigers are not getting their prey and suffering from starvation which was a matter of grave concern.
Zoo veterinary surgeon, Dr. D. N. Banerjee, said the liver function and blood tests were done from private as well as government labs.
He said, "the reports arrived late last week. We compared both the reports and found that there is indication of prolonged starvation in the tiger. There is discrepancy in the blood, urea and nitrogen (BUN) ratio too. This shows that the kidney was not doing the filtering work properly."
However, he said no decision has been taken yet on whether an X- ray would be conducted to find out if the big cat has any internal injury.
Meanwhile, Wildlife Institute of India's (WII) scientist Y. V. Jhala said repeated incidents of tigers coming out of the jungles call for a study to find out whether there is any disease outbreak.
He said, "this is not a new phenomenon. In 2009-2010 when canine distemper plagued the Siberian tigers, the big cats started wandering near the Russian towns in search of easy prey. They either died or had to be put down. Later, it was found the tigers were infected with canine distemper." He felt low prey density can also be a cause for the starvation.
The tiger has already been put under power diet and vitamins, so that it can recover fast.
Dr. Banerjee said, "we have raised the quantity of beef, offered to it in the evening, to six kilos. Morning diet consists of a full chicken."