Monday, August 13, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Skeletons of two lions found in zoo
Bipin Bhardwaj

Chhat Bir (Patiala), August 12
Mystery shrouds the death of two lions whose skeletons were found in the thick growth within the Lion Safari of Chhat Bir Zoo here today.

The skeletons of both animals were noticed by the employees this morning during a weed eradication drive started by the zoo authorities on Saturday morning.

No one is clear whether the lions were killed or died of old age or while fighting each other. Interestingly, even though there are just 71 lions in the zoo, the disappearance of these two for over four months went unnoticed by the authorities raising serious doubts about their competency to take care of the animals.

When contacted, Mr R.K. Luna, Zoo director, confirmed the death of only one lion due to old age. The skeleton remains were buried by the authorities this evening.

Highly placed sources in the zoo disclosed that the big cats succumbed to injuries sustained while fighting among themselves some time ago. The zoo authorities were allegedly unaware of the injured animals which further led to their death because of lack of care and medication.

Sources said six more lions, including cubs, had sustained injuries and might die due to the negligence of the zoo authorities. The injured have been shifted to the ‘‘houses’’ near the Lion Safari.

The authorities started eradication of weed on the representation of Mr Sunil Kumar, the contractor plying buses inside the safari, that thick growth of weeds had virtually blocked the view of the usual lion spots. This had affected his business adversely.

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