Monday, March 19, 2001,
Chandigarh, India





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Lion dies after vasectomy
S.R. Pundir

Nahan, March 18
A male lion, Raju in Renuka Lion Safari, has died following a vasectomy operation by veterinary surgeons.

According to official sources, the operation was conducted by two qualified veterinary surgeons and one Professor and head of the clinic of the College of Animal and Veterinary Science, HPKVV. Two senior veterinary officers from Dadahu and Nahan were also present on the occasion.

Raju was made unconscious with a tranquilizer gun shot and the operation was conducted on March 13 at 11.30 a.m. But soon after, the lion developed a breathing problem and died at 5.30 p.m.

SHIMLA (TNS): The death of Raju has given a setback to the plans of the Wild Life Department to check inbreeding, which already has caused serious health problems among the captive animals.

The veterinarians, who performed vasectomy, maintain that the operation was successful and the animal had died due to some other complications. In the post-mortem report the cause of death has been stated as cardio-pulmonary and hepatic insufficiency. It has also indicated the possibility of a genetic disorder as one of the factors responsible for the lionís death.

However, the department is not taking any chances. It has decided to suspend the sterilisation programme under which all males in Renuka safari and Gopalpur nature park were to be covered. It has also sent samples from various organs of Raju to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute for ascertaining the exact cause of death.

Mr A.L. Sharma, Chief Wildlife Warden, said since the immunity of the lions, which were the same stock, was very low because of inbreeding the department would seek expert advice before going ahead with the sterilisation programme. He said Dr Vinod Sharma from Chhatbir Zoo had agreed to be present during the operation to be performed on Raju. However, he could not make it to Renuka due to some problem. The department would seek expert advice whether it was safe to perform operations on animals already suffering from severe genetic problems on account of inbreeding.
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