Raja Dies: The oldest captive Royal Bengal tiger in West Bengal has died at its shelter in the Jaldapara forest of Alipurduar district, officials said on Monday.
Raja’s 25th birthday was celebrated with gaiety by the forest department on August 23 last year, the day he got a new lease of life after surviving a crocodile attack in 2008, an official said.
Chief wildlife warden Debal Roy told PTI that Raja did not show any signs of serious illness in recent days and veterinarians attributed his death to old age-related problems, which may have come to the fore.
According to Roy, the carnivore died late Sunday at the age of 25 years and 10 months, the oldest for any Royal Bengal tiger in the state.
Officials could not confirm before crosschecking whether the king was also the oldest Royal Bengal Tiger in the country, adding that the big cats usually do not live more than 20 years.
Raja, who was taken to the South Khairbari Tiger Rescue Center since 2008, went on a prosthesis after being basically torn apart in a crocodile attack while swimming in a creek in the Sundarbans, the official said.
Another forest official said that based on several standard protocols to make the assessment, the department had ascertained the age of the tiger in 2008 at the age of 12 years.
According to the official, Raja used to answer calls from his keepers and veterinarians who looked after him.
“He was like a kid. He understood everything.” Raja Dies