TWENTY-ONE lions are dying in a zoo in north India after across-breeding experiment to boost the park’s attractions went wrong.
In the 1980s, officials at the Chhatbir Zoo in the northern city of Chandigarh, bred captive Asiatic lions with a pair of African circus animals, resulting in a hybrid species.
Within a few years, it became obvious it had not worked. The offspring found it hard to walk, let alone run, because their hind legs were weak. And by the mid-90s the big cats showed symptoms of failing immune systems.
But it wasn’t until 2000 that the breeding program was ended, and the male lions given vasectomies, by which time the zoo had 70 to 80 such lions.
This story angers me… within a few years they knew there were problems with the lions, but they continued to breed them? And now with 70-80 still alive, but dying. The title of the story on The Age is Indian zoo helps crossbred lions ‘die with dignity’.
But what dignity is there for these poor human-created creatures, with limbs failling unable to eat and now drip-fed to stay alive? Give these poor guys the green dream and let them have peace.
It saddens me that these poor creatures are forced to live. In the wild, not that they would ever appear in the wild, these animals would have already died out or been killed off as the weaker creatures they are.