THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Radha, the six-and-half-year-old Asiatic lioness recently brought from Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden, Gujarat, died at the city zoo on Thursday morning due to an unknown bacterial infection.
Originally for Neyyar Lion Safari Park, she was in transit at the zoo. But since the work of its enclosure was not completed, Radha along with its partner 10-year-old Nagaraj was lodged here.
Both were transported from Gujarat on Aug 18 in exchange of two flying Malabar squirrels, Diana and George.
Of late, the Neyyar Lion Safari Park has not been attracting many visitors which led the forest department to seek a pair from Gujarat.
The duo was transported via road and they reached the zoo in less than five days.
Ever since they boarded the special crate from Gujarat, Radha declined to eat the chicken provided by the forest keepers.
Dr E. K. Easwaran, chief forest veterinary officer, said the real cause of the death was mysterious and was diagnosed with posterior paralysis.
"A team of vets from Chief Disease Investigation Office, Palode, did the post-mortem. Preliminary investigation reveals that Radha died of a strange bacterial infection. Further causes can be known only after the outcome of the tissue test is known," he told DC.
Radha had undergone two deliveries with her youngest cubs being one and a half years old which was lodged in the next enclosure at the Gujarat Zoo. Forest officials feel she might have been in stress after separated from her familiar environs.
"The male inherent lions usually do not show much stress as they keep moving away from their pride. Radha was not responding to antibiotics for the last three weeks. Generally, in such infections, antibiotics should be effective," Dr Eshwaran said.
The Gujarat zoo had certified the lion pair as healthy before they were transported....