Mangaluru: Pilikula Park’s King and Star Attraction ‘Maharaja’ Dies at 21

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Mangaluru: He was the cynosure of all visitors’ eyes ever since he was brought from the Tavarekere tiger reserve in Shivamogga district to the Pilikula Shivarama Karanth Biological Park here in 2003.

The average life-span of a tiger is said to be ranging between 10 to 12 years. Maharaja – fondly called Raja – lived much longer for 21 years and breathed his last in his adoptive abode of greenery in the early hours of Friday, May 22. But another tiger had lived up to 22 years in the past, says the park’s wildlife director, H Jayaprakash Bhandary.

Thousands of children as well as adults had been enamoured of his royal gait and stately look all these years. He was responding so well to the calls and commands of his handlers.

But there was only a single black spot in his record. It was in late July 2011 that he was going through a spell of illness. His caretaker, Kelinje Kushalappa Gowda (36), hailing from Vittal in Bantwal taluk, with all concern for and good intentions of checking Raja’s condition, had got into his enclosure on the night of July 31.

Feeling unnerved and threatened, Raja pounced on Gowda without realizing in the dark that he was his own caretaker and not an intruder. Suffering fatal injuries in the neck which led to excessive bleeding, Gowda died almost instantaneously.

Raja’s menu was quite staggering – 10 kgs of beef and 2 kgs of chicken, which kept him strong and healthy. However, for the last three months – possibly owing to geriatric issues – he was keeping unwell and even had stopped the intake of food during the past few days.

The void created by Raja will definitely be felt not only by the visitors but also the staff at the Pilikula park. Director Bhandary said that as required under wildlife laws, Raja’s viscera and other vital organs have been sent to a laboratory in Bengaluru and the mortal remains were cremated on Friday, May 22.

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5 Comments

  1. Dear O.R. Pai,

    I don’t mean to pee on your parade on this august forum but your reply still doesn’t answer why you said RIP to Raaja yet didn’t bother to RIP all the chickens and the cows he ate all his life? Why this recidivist duplicity?

    By the way google is the problem, not the solution. Google has enabled people to educate themselves well beyond their intelligence.

    Cuddles!

    HJ

  2. Dear Henry James,
    Not sure why you keep embarrassing yourself when I had clearly requested you to google this topic and educate yourself in my earlier post. Moreover, you don’t seem to know what a ‘fascist’ really means!! Since you have access to internet from your room, please type ‘google’ and search for carnivorous animals and you get a good explanation. However, you and your ‘naalige chapala’ crowd don’t have the same challenge that wild cats do. Happy reading!!

  3. R. Pai,

    You are ok for tigers to eat meat but not humans?

    You are some sort of a heartless fascist aren’t you? Hope you don’t take over a country one day!

    Looking from tiger’s perspective, how do you know eating meat does not have adverse impact on his health by consuming meat? What if his blood pressure goes up? What if he gets colon cancer by eating beef daily? May be tigers are dying by the age of 20 because they eat too much meat. Perhaps they may live up to 80 if they abstained. Have you given any thought on this matter?

    To make it worse, you bestow a soul on a ferocious dead predator by saying RIP? Who is going to say RIP on the souls of to all the cows and the chickens he ate all his life? What a discriminator are you?

  4. Raaja – RIP!

    @ Henry James – I don’t oppose meat consumption by tigers. Tigers can’t survive on grass or vegetarian diet. Do me a favor – go ahead and google this topic to understand it better and save some embarrassment in future! The situation of tiger is very different from ‘naalige chapala’ shown by you and other human beings.

  5. 10 kg beef and 2 kg chicken?

    Mr.R. Pai, do you oppose this? The zoo administration had to kill other animals to satisfy the “naalige-chapala” of this fat cat? Now is the time for your perfunctory apology/protest.

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