TAMIL NADU

2 lion cubs dead at Vandalur zoo

: Two lion cubs at the Vandalur zoo died about a fortnight ago. A senior officer of the zoo said lioness Kavitha delivered three cubs on June 30. One of them died soon after birth. A fortnight later another cub was found dead in the enclosure. After 20 days the third cub was also found dead.

Post-mortem by the Zoo Vets revealed puncture marks in the trachea of both the cubs. The officials suspect that the lioness would have carried the cubs using its canine teeth, which could have caused the death.

Another official said lioness and tigress make sounds to pass instructions to the cubs and have to react to that. When the officials provided chicken exclusively for the mother, she would indicate to the cubs to go away immediately, the officials observed.

In this case, whenever the lioness called the two cubs they did not respond. Moreover, they were not active and always found in one corner of the enclosure, away from their mother.

When there was no response from the cubs, the disturbed mother would have shifted them from the place by lifting them by using her canine teeth.

K.S.S.V.P. Reddy, Chief Conservator of Forests and Zoo Director, said that in order to avoid in-breeding among lions, they were planning to introduce cross breeding among different individual lions, which are not belonging to the same group.

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