Seven leopard cubs have died at Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bengaluru after being infected by a highly contagious virus, officials said on Tuesday.
Feline panleukopenia (FP) is a viral disease of cats caused by the feline parvovirus. Kittens are most severely affected by the virus, they said.
The seven cubs were aged between three and eight months. All of them were vaccinated but succumbed during the course of treatment. According to officials, the first outbreak was reported on August 22.
Executive Director of Bannerghatta Biological Park, AV Surya Sen said though the seven cubs were vaccinated, they were still infected.
“It is now under control and in the last 15 days, no deaths have been reported. We have completely broken the chain and taken all necessary measures. We followed all the required procedure and also held discussions with all our senior veterinarians. All correct course of action was taken. Also, we have ensured hygiene of the entire zoo and the rescue centre was completely sanitised,” he said.
“The infection was reported on August 22 and within a span of 15 days, these seven virus infected cubs died. We had released nine leopard cubs into the Safari area, out of which four got infected and died. Three other cubs at the rescue centre also got infected and died during the course of treatment. All those infected died within a span of two weeks’ despite being given proper treatment,” he added.
Elaborating on the nature of virus, the official said once infected by Feline panleukopenia virus, the intestine of the animal gets completely affected. They develop severe diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration which ultimately leads to death. It spreads rapidly and the infected animal dies within four to five days.