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“The guard searched the compound and surrounding area and found a krait curled up near the water tank. We suspect the snake may have bitten the lioness Ganga,” Kumar said. OTV.
The team administered three vials of anti-venom to the lioness. However, Ganga did not respond to the treatment and succumbed to the bite. “Although the lioness was given anti-venom injections immediately after zoo workers cited the snake, by then it was too late and the beast succumbed to the venom. We suspect the lioness must have been bitten by the snake well. before starting anti-venom treatment for which she could not be saved,” Kumar added.
Post-mortem reports from the lioness confirmed that the animal’s blood had neurotoxic and hemotoxic reactions after being bitten by the snake.
Meanwhile, the lioness’ death from a snakebite has snowballed into controversy with Animal Welfare Trust Ekamara (AWTE) filing an FIR against zoo authorities for negligence. The AWTE demanded an impartial investigation by the police or a wildlife organization instead of the concerned zoo officials, reports OTV.
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As per Indian Government and WHO protocol, 10 numbers of vials of ASV should be administered within one hour of snakebite. But according to zoo authorities, only three vials were given to the lioness. This may be due to a lack of ASV stock or a lack of knowledge from zoo veterinarians. In both cases, sheer negligence killed the lioness, Patra said in her complaint.
After the death of the African lioness Ganga, the lion population in the zoo has dropped to 16. Also, there is only one African lion left in the zoo after Ganga’s death.
Four lions, including Ganga, were brought to Nandankanan from Israel in 2015 to increase their population during the zoo’s lion safari. However, two of them had already died in August 2018, reported The new Indian Express.