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Karachi

April 30, 2016

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Alex the tiger, Karachi Zoo’s star attraction, is no more

Alex the tiger, Karachi Zoo’s star attraction, is no more

Zoo officials say 16-year-old Royal Bengal tiger died on Friday morning because of kidney failure

Karachi

Alex alias Raju, a male Royal Bengal Tiger at the Karachi Zoo and one of its most magnificent sights, died on Friday morning because of kidney failure at the age of 16.

Zoo officials said Alex had completed his natural age.

“Alex wasn’t eating since Monday and losing weight,” zoo director Fahim Ahmed told The News.

“We called senior veterinary physicians including Dr Isma Gheewala, Dr Qasim Peerzada and livestock experts and they examined him. They told us that Alex’s kidneys had failed and there was no cure,” he added.

The vets sent Alex’s blood samples to the Aga Khan University Hospital laboratory. The report revealed that his kidneys were not functioning properly.

Quoting the vets who had examined the animal, the zoo director said Alex was 16 years old and Royal Bengal Tigers did live more than 18 years in captivity away from their natural habitat.

 “The age factor, the environment and habitat as well as the disease caused Alex’s death. It’s for the first time that we knew in advance that one of our old animals is going to die soon.”

His death occured at around 8:40am.

To a query, Ahmed said though the tiger’s name as Alex, some employees and visitors started calling him Raju.

He added that a team of experts had also carried out an autopsy of the tiger’s body and his skin had been preserved. “The skin will be stuffed and placed at the Karachi museum.”

Karachi administrator Laeeq Ahmed visited the zoo and inquired about the death of the tiger.

He said bids would be invited for acquiring another tiger to replace Alex.

He added that efforts were under way to turn the Karachi Zoo into a modern recreational facility and various services and facilities were being introduced there for this purpose.

The administrator said he was taking personal interest in the improvement of the zoo and vowed that all the shortcomings and issues related to it would be addressed very soon.

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