The mystery surrounding the deaths of total nine zebras at Gazipur's Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park has been solved.
Of the deceased animals, four died in fights during reproduction and the other five died from bacterial infections, disclosed experts at a press briefing held at the park on Tuesday afternoon.
They said that the bacterial infestations included Streptococcus, E Coli, Cocadium, Salmonella, and Pasturela.
The zebras had died in the span of just three weeks – from 2 January to 24 January.
Speaking with The Business Standard the same day, Jahidul Kabir, project director of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park, said, "We had formed a medical board to investigate the deaths.
"An emergency meeting was called today (25 January). Veterinary and animal specialists have concluded that zebras died from infections and fights."
Noting that most of the deceased zebras were female, he said, "Each year during the breeding season, the zebras fight with each other. This is how four of the animals died inside the park."
Park In-Charge and Assistant Forest Conservator Tabibur Rahman said, "Their autopsy reports and samples were sent to various laboratories, including Bangladesh Agricultural University and Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) to determine the exact cause of death.
Tabibur Rahman said it was very difficult for them to watch the animals die like this.
"After nurturing them with our own hands, we had to see them die. None of us were negligent here," he added.
Experts have made various recommendations to improve the park's habitat and avoid such untoward incidents in the future.
They said that the park has to be always kept clean and disinfected, vaccination drives for the animals have to be carried out regularly and the installation of a proper surveillance system to ensure the health and safety of the wild animals.
A five-member probe committee has been formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change regarding this incident.