Comparative hematological variables of Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) kept in Lahore Zoo and Lahore Wildlife Park, Pakistan
In Pakistan, a scant number of Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) are being kept at various zoos or in certain wildlife sanctuaries, and there is a dearth of literature regarding the effect of captivity on their physiological parameters. The present study was hence conducted to determine and compare the hematological alterations in tigers of Bengal origin (Panthera tigris tigris) kept in captivity at Lahore Zoo (LZ) (n = 4) and in the seminatural environment of Lahore Wildlife Park (LWP) (n = 6), Pakistan. The results reflect a significantly higher (P < 0.05) total leucocyte count and platelet count and a lower packed cell volume in animals kept at LWP as compared to those of animals kept at LZ. No other significant differences in hematology were noted for the 2 captive forms. Despite the limitation of sample size in the present study, it was concluded that captivity has a significant effect on various hematological parameters in Bengal tigers. These baseline data will lay a foundation in the therapeutic evaluation and physical monitoring of tigers kept in various forms of captivity not only in Pakistan, but also in other countries such as India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, as well.
Key words: Hematology, captivity, Panthera tigris tigris