Faiz Siddiqui | TNN | Jul 6, 2016, 07.04 PM IST
Blood and stool samples of the animal have been sent to IVRI (Indian Veterinary and Research Institute), Bareilly for laboratory test, lion safari director Sanjay Srivastava said.
Sources informed that paralytic attack has affected the hind portion of the lioness and it could not be able to walk. "This has also affected its appetite, and at present the feline is consuming around 1.5 kg of meat, which is quite low as far as diet of any normal adult lion is concerned. Lioness is exhibiting symptoms quite similar to Kuber, which had died of canine distemper virus," sources added.
The safari authorities have segregated Girishma from the six other lions housed in the breeding centre in the safari.
Srivastava further said, "The blood samples of the lioness have been sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly for medical examination and things would be clear once the reports comes in."
The Etawah Lion Safari is seen as a dream project of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav. The work on the project was initiated in 2005 but smooth way paved later, in May 2013, after environmental clearances.
In the last 20 months, the lion safari project of the state government has reported nine deaths so far -- four adults (two lions and two lionesses) and five cubs.
The deaths started with Laxmi and Vishnu, which had died in October and November, 2014, respectively and thereafter, Tapasya and later Kuber joined the list. Earlier, four cubs had died in July, 2015 soon after birth, while the fifth one died in August, 2015. The death of felines at the safari have been linked to canine distemper virus, which also affects dogs.
Recently, the Lion Safari authorities had carried a vaccination drive among stray and domestics dogs in villages around the safari.
The Lion Safari has three lions - Manan, Gigo and Pataudi - and four lionesses, Heer, Kunwari, Girishma and Jessica.
After the death of five cubs, lionesses Tapasya and Jessica were brought to Etawah safari along with lion Pataudi under an exchange programme from Sakkarbaugh zoo of Gujarat on December 28.
Following the deaths, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had removed chief wildlife warden Rupak De from the post and replaced him by S K Upadhyai in August, 2015.
In January, this year, CM again removed Upadhyai after the death of lioness Tapasya. He brought back De again as the chief wildlife warden. However, the Forest Department had recently shifted De as advisor to the Lion Safari and given the charge of the Chief Wildlife Warden to Umendra Sharma.
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In February, a two-member team from Longleat Safari Park of UK organised an exercise session for four pairs of Asiatic lions at lion safari in Etawah.
It was conducted by Mark Kingston and Christopher John and aimed at making the animals active and smart. In the process, they installed high wire and pole fight on the safari premises and involved the animals in various games in the presence of safari staff. The experts had also given tips to the forest staff to keep the animals safe and healthy.