Hassan: What causes animals in captivity to fall sick?
Are environmental factors such as temperature, sunlight and humidity responsible?
These and many more questions are being studied by research students of the Veterinary College in Hebbal, Bengaluru, who have been hired for the job by the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens in Mysuru, which hopes to improve its animal health care based on their findings.
“We treat captive animals whenever they fall sick, but we wanted an indepth study to know exactly what causes them to fall ill. We are not sure whether environmental factors are responsible for diseases in captive animals, especially among elephants and captive turtles,” said zoo officials, explaining that once the study was done, they would be able to take steps to improve the health care facilities for the animals in their care.
The zoo, which has nine Asian elephants, hopes the study will throw light on the gastro- intestinal parasites that often make them sick, and also seasonal variations, among other factors responsible for ailments among the jumbos. The research will cover shell disease among turtles and epidemical and therapeutic diseases among snakes as well.
Assistant director, Ramesh says animals live longer in captivity than in the wild because of the good medical care and food they are provided.
“The successful breeding of animals in captivity is an indication of how well they are cared for, “ he added. Just recently, a giraffe calf was born at the zoo, which has seen tigers too successfully breed in the past....