The sick tigers of Senec, who were poisoned by an unknown assailant.
Five tiger cubs born and raised in captivity in Senec were poisoned when a visitor dropped the toxic micro-organism Clostridium botulinum into their water dish in late July. Four of the tigers are expected to live but the fifth, named Mark, died from the poisoning on August 1.
Visitors were allowed to visit the tigers' home in Senec and have their photographs taken with the tigers every Saturday and Sunday. It was during this time that the culprit allegedly slipped the poison into the tigers' water. According to Iveta Iršová, chair of the Petržalka Tiger Foundation, the tigers' pulse and body temperature began to steadily decrease after ingesting the poison. Soon after, the tigers' breathing became laboured and their muscles began to ache.
Mark, a male tiger, was killed and two others, Bimbo and Fiško, were seriously ill and in "critical condition," said Dušan Hlinka, director of the State Veterinarian Administration. The two other tigers were only slightly affected.
A police investigation is continuing and no arrests have been made. Hlinka said that investigators have proof that the poisoning was an intentional criminal act.
The tigers were bred by the Petržalka Tiger Foundation. The mother of the tigers, who are all siblings, gave birth to ten new cubs last year. The family constitutes the largest tiger family in central Europe.
16. Aug 1999 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA