TVM zoo deaths: Minister confirms spread of tuberculosis, won’t close facility

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Thiruvananthapuram: Animal welfare minister J Chinchu Rani has confirmed the spread of tuberculosis in Thiruvananthapuram zoo, where 54 blackbucks and 14 spotted deers have died over 10 months.

The officials from the State Institute of Animal Diseases (SIAD) recently visited the zoo and confirmed the spread of tuberculosis. They have advised authorities to separate the infected animals from the rest and give special care to them. The minister said that the team will submit a report in five days.

Zoo authorities have decided not to close down the zoo, for now.

422 animals die in five years
Manorama News reported that in the past five years, 422 animals have died in the zoo, including three tigers. In the past year, more than 100, including 54 blackbucks, have died. When the samples of the dead animals were checked, 20 were found to have tuberculosis.

Hyenas have been accommodated in a handful of tiger enclosures, as the popular big cats — George, Ponni and Athira– are no more. Only four tigers are left in the zoo now. Most of the lions have also died, except Ayush, who is hospitalised, and Gracy. The enclosures of giraffes, zebras and American leopards are also empty.

As per reports 49 animals died in 2017, 88 in 2018, 109 in 2019, 85 in 2020 and 91 in 2021.

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