One of the red kangaroos, not the one that died, in Alipore zoo two weeks ago. Picture Sayantan Ghosh
Calcutta, Aug. 10: One of the four red kangaroos gifted by the Czech Republic two months ago died in Alipore zoo today.
Zoo authorities said the male kangaroo was one-and-a-half years old and was sick since June 2, the day it was flown in from the Czech Republic. The normal life span of a kangaroo is 24 years.
The kangaroo was sick since it reached the zoo. Since August 6, it was suffering from high fever and today around 5pm, it died, said a zoo official.
The four kangaroos were presented to Alipore zoo by the Czech Republic government. The marsupials were brought to Calcutta on June 2 and, after the quarantine period of a month, they were cleared for public viewing from July 2.
The zoo officials said that as the kangaroo that died was sick since its arrival, it was mainly kept in a cage. The other three were lodged in an enclosure in the open.
The death came at a time of internal unrest in the zoo where employees are staging regular protests against the alleged rude behaviour of a senior officer.
Although sick, the kangaroos death has swivelled the spotlight to the living conditions of the inmates of Indias oldest zoo.
The zoo authorities had come under the scanner after a 22-year-old female chimpanzee, Jessy, fell while swinging from the branch of a 30-feet-tall tree and died of injuries over a year ago on April 8, 2010. It emerged later the chimp was sedated. Three months later, its partner also died.
In 2009, eight Brazilian marmoset monkeys were stolen from the zoo. Seven of them were retrieved by Calcutta police.
On May 24, 2008, a giraffe died while being transported from Alipore zoo to Orissas Nandankanan. The giraffes neck struck a roadside pole near Bagnan in Howrah.