The ailing lion Juboraj of Comilla Zoo died early yesterday after struggling with old age complications for years, according to zoo officials.
Sanjoy Kumar Bhowmic, chief executive officer of Comilla District Council, said Juboraj had stopped eating completely for the last few days. He finally breathed his last early yesterday.
A four-member medical team was formed to carry out the post mortem. The team was led by veterinary surgeon of Sadar Upazila Arif Hasan, upazila veterinary surgeons Jakir Hossain and Rakibul Hasan. Chondon Kumar Podder, district veterinary officer was present during the autopsy.
When queried, Arif told his reporter that the average lifespan of a male lion in the wild was around 14 years, adding that Juboraj was 17 years old. However, he did not mention how long a lion survives in captivity.
Arif Hasan said he found all organs of the deceased to be sufficiently normal. “I may just say 'death due to senility' in comments,” he said.
Surgeons have collected visceral samples and submitted them to the district veterinary hospital yesterday which will forward them to Dhaka today.
According to the zoo's contractor, Masudur Rahman, he brought Juboraj to Comilla zoo from Chittagong zoo in 2004, when the lion was four years old.
Juboraj led a solitary existence for the last thirteen years in his zoo. He spent most of his time lying quietly on the ground.
After a video showing Juboraj's condition went viral on social media, the zoo authority called in veterinarians who reported that the lion's health had deteriorated beyond recovery. Eminent wildlife conservationist Reza Khan had said that the Comilla zoo authorities should euthanise Juboraj.
According to Sanjoy, in the beginning of the year, they had called a team of veterinarians and the Dhaka Zoo curator to come and observe the lion's condition. The team had then mentioned that Juboraj was suffering from old age complications and would stop eating soon.