Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 2:
‘Joy’-the male giraffe brought to Nandankanan Zoological Park on the outskirts of Odisha capital from Alipore Zoo in Kolkata under an animal exchange programme had died of theileriosis – a tick-borne disease caused by intracellular blood parasites belonging to the Theileria group, said the post-mortem report of the animal.
“The giraffe was infected with a blood parasite named Theileria. The animal died when the protozoan parasite came to propagating stage inside the animal’s red blood corpuscles. We have no plans to get new giraffe to the zoo at present. As per directions of the state government Principal Chief Conservator of Forests-Wildlife (PCCF-Wildlife) had constituted a probe committee. The three-member committee today examined the animal’s post-mortem report, the enclosure where it was kept and pictures of its different organs, its diet chart and all other aspects,” said Sudarshan Panda, director Nandankanan Zoological Park speaking to reporters.
On the other hand, Alipore Zoo director Ashish Samanta today said that they are yet to receive formal report from Nandankanan authorities on Joy’s death.
Samanta said the animal was healthy while it was at the Alipore Zoo. Its health was examined before it left for Nandankanan, he said adding that veterinarians of both Nandankanan and Alipore zoos had examined the animal’s health. He said the animal had no infection while adding that there are six more giraffes in Alipore Zoo and they are all heathy.
Samant further said that if Nandankanan authorities request, they may consider giving another giraffe.
The male giraffe was brought here on February 24 as part of an animal exchange programme – in which four tigers were sent to Alipore Zoo in exchange. It died five days after its arrival on February 29.
Five year old ‘Joy’ was brought here in a custom built container based on a low-bed trailer from the Kolkata based zoo under supervision of an eight member team led by assistant director of Nandankanan Zoological Park.
The Nandankanan Zoo authorities had procured the male giraffe to provide a partner to ‘Khusi’ the lone female giraffe of the Zoo and were hopeful of in captivity breeding.