White tiger dies of tumour at Nehru Zoological Park

A white tiger aged eight died in the Nehru Zoological Park, making it the third white tiger to die of similar causes in the last eight years.

The male Royal Bengal Tiger named Kiran died on Thursday morning, after suffering from neoplastic tumour in the jaw for three months. He had been under intensive care treatment in the LaCONES area of the zoo during the time, a statement from zoo informed.Veterinary experts from the Veterinary Biological Research Institute (VBRI), Shanti Nagar, College of Veterinary Sciences, Rajendra Nagar, LaCones, apart from independent veterinarians had been treating it since May 29.

Postmortem by an expert team revealed lesions and a necrosed hard mass weighing approximately 500 grams, extending into the lower jaw. The lungs too were found to have been infiltrated with small neoplastic tumours, due to which lungs had collapsed resulting in asphyxia as immediate reason for death.

Kiran is third in the lineage of the white Royal Bengal Tigers which had died of the same cause, indicating an inherited health issue. Veterinary experts point this to the recessive gene in the line of the white tigers.

Less than a year ago, Kiran’s father Badri died at the age of 14, and the postmortem revealed a large tumour in the neck region, which weighed approximately five kg. In 2012, Badri’s father and Kiran’s grandfather Rudra too had died of similar cause, at 14 years of age, the statement informed.

‘Recessive gene’

“Only male tigers are being affected, and that too, only one from each tiger’s offspring. Each generation has one member dying of the same cause, which points to a recessive gene being handed over down the line,” said Deputy Director (Veterinary) of the Nehru Zoological Park, M.A.Hakeem.

Keeping this fact in mind, the zoo recently approached LaCONES, CCMB, requesting it to conduct study on neoplastic tumours in white tigers.

The zoo is now left with nine white tigers — six male and three female. The total population of Royal Bengal tigers is 21 in the zoo, 12 of them being the regular ones.

Samples related to latest mortality were collected and sent to VBRI, the statement said.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 3:41:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/white-tiger-dies-of-tumour-at-nehru-zoological-park/article31918687.ece

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