KOLKATA, Aug 18 (Bernama) -- Many Royal Bengal tigers in the mangroves on Sunderbans are suffering from starvation, said an Alipore zoo official in the capital of Indian's eastern state of West Bengal.
This came to light when a seven-year-old tiger had strayed into a village recently from the jungles and had to be captured by the state forest department officials and brought to the zoo for treatment of his weak hind leg.
The zoo official said the tiger's blood and liver function test reports have shown indication of prolonged starvation, Xinhua news agency reported.
The tiger's case is an indication that many other tigers were not getting their prey and were suffering from starvation, the official said.Wildlife Institute of India's (WII) scientist YV Jhala said that repeated incidents of tigers coming out of the jungles call for a study to ascertain whether there is any disease outbreak.
"This is not a new phenomenon. When canine distemper plagued the Siberian tigers in 2009 and 2010, big cats started wandering near the Russian towns in search of easy prey.
They either died or had to be put down. Later, it was found the tigers were infected with canine distemper," said Jhala.
Jhala said he believes low prey density could be a cause for starvation for the tigers.