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Saturday, 29 July, 2000, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
Tiger toll rises at India zoo
Dead tiger
This rare white tiger is the latest casualty
Another Royal Bengal tiger has died in a zoo in the Indian state of Orissa - the 13th of the endangered species to have died there this month.

The new director of the state-run zoo in Nandankanan said the latest casualty was a rare white tiger.

The previous director was sacked when 12 tigers died within three days of each other after being treated for a parasitic infection.

It was not clear whether they died from the ailment or incorrect treatment.

The deaths provoked a public outcry in India, amid accusations of negligence at the zoo.

Dead tiger in Orissa zoo
The deaths sparked a national outcry

Soon after reports appeared, an investigation team was despatched to Orissa from Delhi.

But zoo authorities apparently cremated the carcasses of the animals before the investigators arrived.

They said they did it to prevent the tiger skins from being sold in the black market.

The issue has focused attention on the conditions in India's zoos, with some wildlife experts and animal rights activists demanding they be closed down.

Several reports in the Indian media have highlighted widespread ill-treatment of animals and the general lack of adequate food and medical care.

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See also:

06 Jul 00 | South Asia
Inquiry into tiger deaths
05 Jul 00 | South Asia
Mystery illness kills nine tigers
20 Sep 99 | South Asia
Tiger disease claims another victim
02 May 99 | South Asia
India defends tiger conservation record
02 May 99 | World
Mission to save the tiger
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