Monday, 20 October 2014

Indian lions losing their bite

Asiatic lions in the wild generally have good tooth health so when a group of doctors undertook a survey including medicals of lions in the Gir region of India they were surprised to see tooth decay. They also found minor bone deformities and officials are now looking into whether the water provided is contaminated with fluoride.

Two doctors, Dr Jalpan Rupara and Dr Purvesh Kacha., produced a report, Ecology of Lions in Greater Gir Landscape, that highlighted that both lions and humans appeared to be suffering from fluorosis. The study area was Lathi Liliya which has a lion population of about 40 lions.

Eight lions were examined and three were found to be suffering from tooth decay and some lions were also suffering from mild bone deformities. One lion that was examined only had 2 of its 26 teeth still remaining. A second lion had lost 4 teeth and a third lion had lost 3 teeth.

Forest officials in Lathi Liliya have launched a special investigation and study to be overseen by the Anand Veterinary Institute to try to find the cause of the decay and bone deformities. If it seems that fluorosis is to blame than the officials have said that lion management policy will need to change.

The lions rely on water brought in by tanker and do not have access to any ground water. This could mean that the water being brought in to the region could have high levels of fluoride.

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