Officials at the Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bengaluru have reported the tragic loss of seven leopard cubs due to the outbreak of a highly contagious virus.
This viral outbreak, known as feline panleukopenia (FP), is caused by the feline parvovirus and primarily impacts young kittens. The distressing incident began on August 22 when the first case emerged. Regrettably, all seven cubs, ranging in age from three to eight months, fell victim to the virus despite being vaccinated and receiving treatment.
AV Surya Sen, the Executive Director of Bannerghatta Biological Park, acknowledged that despite vaccination efforts, the cubs were still vulnerable to the virus. However, he assured that the situation is now under control, with no reported deaths in the past 15 days. Stringent measures were taken, in consultation with senior veterinarians, to break the chain of infection. The entire zoo premises and rescue center underwent thorough sanitation to maintain hygiene.
The initial infection was detected on August 22, leading to the tragic loss of four out of nine leopard cubs released into the Safari area. Furthermore, three other cubs at the rescue center succumbed to the virus during treatment. Shockingly, all infected individuals lost their lives within a two-week period, despite receiving proper care.
Explaining the nature of the virus, officials revealed that the Feline panleukopenia virus severely affects the intestines of infected animals, resulting in severe symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration, ultimately leading to fatality. The virus spreads rapidly, causing death within a mere four to five days following infection.