Maya was diagnosed with feline infectious peritonitis, a fatal viral disease

Maya, the female African hunting cheetah aged around six years, died at the Mysore zoo here on Tuesday.

The cheetah was unwell since June 9 and was diagnosed with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a fatal viral disease.

The animal did not respond to treatment, zoo authorities said.

From Germany

Maya was brought to the Mysore zoo from Leipzig Zoo in Germany, along with three other cheetahs under an animal exchange programme in March last year.

Maya was paired with six-year-old Tejas and gave birth to five cubs on March 29 this year.

“This was the first captive breeding of cheetahs in India,” the zoo said in a press release.

Reduced food intake

“Maya had reduced food intake before the symptoms started. It was dull and did not come for feed on the afternoon of June 8. On June 9, it was found in lateral recumbency and was inactive. It was getting up only to drink water and was consuming more water than normal. The cubs were separated from the mother to avoid spread of infection and to reduce stress on the mother,” said zoo Executive Director B.P. Ravi.

A blood sample was collected and immediate symptomatic treatment with antibiotics was initiated, he said in the release.

“Pyometra (infection of the uterus) was suspected and ultra-sonographic scanning was done under anaesthesia to confirm the diagnosis. Fluids in the lower abdomen were seen by scanning and the cheetah was tentatively diagnosed to be suffering from pyometra,” he said.

Accordingly, vigorous treatment was initiated with higher antibiotics and fluid therapy to reduce the toxemia. However, the condition of the animal did not improve and all the blood biological parameters went up.

Clinical examination

Yathiraj S., professor and head, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary College, Bangalore, was invited to conduct a clinical examination on Monday.

“Based on clinical findings, it was concluded that Maya was suffering from FIP. There was no response to the treatment and regular blood sample analysis revealed failure of vital organs. Maya was immediately shifted to the zoo hospital,” Mr. Ravi said.

Despite the efforts of the team of veterinarians, Maya did not survive and died at 5.05 p.m. on Tuesday.

The five cubs were doing well, the release said.

The zoo staff has mourned the cheetah's death.

The lifespan of a cheetah in captivity is normally 10 to 12 years and in the wild it is 7 to 10 years, according to the release.

Keywords: Mysore zoo

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