All the four monitor lizards in Delhi zoo died due to an unfortunate incident. ‘Shock’ is being considered the reason behind their death. According to the officials of the zoo, a staff member had disturbed the four monitor lizards during the period of their hibernation. During the hibernation period, no one is allowed to touch or disturb the monitor lizards, but because of a silly mistake of a staff member who pulled the monitor lizards out, their body faced fatal temperature fluctuations.
The four monitor lizards were in shock because of being checked and disturbed during the hibernation leading to the temperature fluctuations in their body leading to their death.
The zoo ranger had not even taken any permission from the officers for the same. The monitor lizards were taken out of their enclosure without any reason even though the monitor lizards were not to be touched during their hibernation. “The lizards were pulled out by a zoo ranger on January 28 without seeking any permission. We have taken disciplinary action against the staff,” curator Riyaz Khan said.

Unsuccessful to save any of them

The incident took place on January 28th, 2017 when the zoo ranger pulled out the lizards. Two of four monitor lizards died on February 1st and 2nd this year, while the rest were taken into special care to save them from dying. Even after keeping them under special care, the rest two monitor lizards died on February 11th and 15th.
“The four monitor lizards remaining at the zoo have died and investigations found that they had been disturbed during hibernation. They were pulled out by a zoo ranger, which led to temperature variations in their body. The veterinary team kept them under special care but the lizards were unable to recover,” said an official.

Hibernation Period

A lot of animals including rodents, reptiles and others hibernate during the time of winter. This is a time when animals sleep and is done in order to conserve energy by reducing their physical or metabolic activities at the time of unavailability of food. The animals can sleep up to a period of a few months.
According to the staff at Delhi zoo, the monitor lizards hibernate every year from the month of November to March. During this period no one is allowed to check on them or move them. They are not even given any food or water during this period, but this sudden movement caused shock in their body and led to their death. The postmortem reports also prove that the death was because of their body temperature fluctuations as they were disturbed during hibernation. Due to this incident, there are no more monitor lizards in Delhi zoo anymore.

Steps taken against the zoo ranger

An inquiry against the zoo ranger who had pulled the lizards out has been launched. Also a detailed report is being prepared by the zoo authorities regarding the same incident. According to the officials further action would be taken only after the Director examined the same.

The Delhi zoo was closed for a short break because of the bird flu scare that caused death of 14 water birds last year. The zoo reopened in January after the brief break.

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