The death toll of spotted dear in Delhi zoo (National Zoological Park, Delhi) is estimated to be 46, up from the 39 dead deer as reported by a three-member Central Zoo Authority (CZA) team following an inspection of the zoo on 10 May.
But according to Indian Express, the Delhi Zoo authorities still claim that only 16 spotted deer have died so far.
As per the CZA, of the 46 spotted deer that died since January this year, 33 were adults and the rest infants, said sources. As per news reports, the death of infant deer have not been recorded by the zoo authorities.
The CZA team has found discrepancies in the numbers maintained by the veterinary hospital that conducted the post-mortem on the deer.
Delhi Zoo authorities claim that 13 of the deer deaths were by rabies. According to reports, the zoo is awaiting eight more reports from an independent laboratory.
"We maintain that 13 spotted deer died due to rabies, while the reason of death of three more is yet to be ascertained. The methodology adopted by the CZA is different, they are considering stillbirths, which is never maintained by the zoo," Riaz Khan, chief curator of Delhi Zoo, told the Indian Express.
The CZA has directed the zoo to hold regular health advisory committee meetings. It has also recommended that the Delhi Zoo install CCTVs to monitor the animals. The central body also urged the zoo to seek recommendations from a panel comprising experts from the Wildlife Institute of India, Indian Veterinary Institute and the National Centre for Disease Control.