More than 10 tigers and five lion deaths in the Bannerghatta Biological Park had vets worried. For the past few months, zoo veterinarians noticed that a number of big cats passed away as a result of kidney-related problems. But now, zoo officials seem to have understood what’s causing the deaths.

A protein rich diet caused a number of complications for the wild animals. According to zoo officials, the diet led to renal failure among many of the big cats, resulting in their death. For months, veterinarians studied the visceral samples of tigers and lions and found that the animals’ liver was unable to process the waste products of protein synthesis and this put further pressure on their kidneys.

Now, the veterinarians at the zoo have devised a new meal plan for the big cats. The animals will be given different kinds of meats instead of just mutton or beef.

Usually these animals – predators in the wild prey on a variety of herbivores. But in captivity, they are fed the same kind of meat – beef or mutton. The food is rich in protein and less in other nutrients like carbohydrates, fats etc,” said Dr Manjunath, veterinarian at the Bannerghatta Biological Park, according to Bangalore Mirror.

Moreover, these animals which usually live in the wild consume around 30-40 kgs of meat but this happens once in a few days. The big cats are fed 10-15 kgs of meat when they are in captivity. Some of them which are older find it difficult to digest such a huge quantity of meat.