ANDHRA PRADESH

‘Bulky Balaji’ dies

The leopard, Balaji, that breathed his last at Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park in Tirupati on Tuesday.– PHOTO: K.V. POORNACHANDRA KUMAR

The leopard, Balaji, that breathed his last at Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park in Tirupati on Tuesday.– PHOTO: K.V. POORNACHANDRA KUMAR  

‘Balaji’, the bulky leopard in Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park, died at 4.30 a.m. on Tuesday, owing to illness and old age.

The 27-year-old leopard weighing 143 kg had not been taking food for the last three days and also had difficulty in breathing.

A medical team comprising authorities of the Zoological Park and Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University conducted autopsy on the animal and it was given a decent burial later on the zoo premises.

From officers to animal keepers, the animal had been a good friend of all stakeholders in the zoo’s development, since it remained an inmate for around fifteen years on the premises.

As a mark of respect to the departed animal, the zoo staff led by the curator S. Saravanan observed silence for two minutes at the enclosure for leopards.

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