P. Oppili

CHENNAI: Four wild dogs, including three puppies, died in the Vandalur zoo a fortnight ago, owing to leptospirosis.

Wildlife authorities suspect that the disease could have been caused by free roaming rodents such as bandicoots, mongooses and jackals.

They are collecting leftover feed items and burying them near the Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, located far away from the zoo.

To curtail the entry of rodents into the enclosure, the officials have fixed GI sheets around the wildlife enclosure. The animal keepers have been asked to spray turmeric powder and maintain hygiene in the enclosure.

A senior wildlife officer said that as part of the treatment, a full course of antibiotic was administered to the wild dogs. Body temperatures of the surviving animals were being recorded in the morning and evening to ascertain their condition.

At present, the zoo has two pairs of adult wild dogs and eight puppies.