African jumbo, Timbo, dies in Mysuru

He was brought to the country from a zoo in West Germany in 1976.

Mysuru: Forty seven-year-old male African elephant, Timbo, who came to the Mysuru Zoo from a zoo in West Germany in 1976 and was an attraction for decades, died at around 12.15 am Tuesday night reportedly due to chronic arthritis and respiratory failure.

Zoo Executive Director, S. Venkatesan, said Timbo was suffering from chronic arthritis for the past two years and was limping for the last 25 days as its right hind leg couldn’t take his weight.

“Though we tried to treat him for the pain, there was no significant improvement in his condition,” he added, saying that the zoo had consulted experts like wildlife veterinarian Dr Khadri, elephant expert from Kerala, Dr Jacob Cheeran, and Assistant Professor of the Veterinary College in Shimoga, Dr Dhanalakshmi on ways to help Timbo get better.

“But as all the weight was borne by his left hind limb, the elephant began to display contra lateral limb lameness. We gave him the necessary medication as well as physiotherapy. The pain, however, got such that Timbo could not stand on both hind limbs and was found recumbent lying down on his right side in the enclosure on Tuesday,” the director revealed, adding that he rushed to the elephant’s help with zoo veterinarians, supervisors and keepers, besides the Range Forest Officer and found him in shock.

“We immediately began the treatment and tried to lift him up with the help of a crane but could not. The excessive pressure on its intra- abdominal area and lungs, caused him to die of respiratory failure at around about 12.15 am Tuesday night,” he said with regret.

The elephant was cremated in the grounds of the zoo after an autopsy at its hospital in the presence of veterinary experts.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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