Eight Asiatic lions at Indian zoo test positive for Covid

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Eight Asiatic lions have examined positive for Covid-19 at a zoo in Hyderabad, India, within the first such case reported within the nation.

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India’s largest organisation for analysis and growth, tweeted that one in every of its life science establishments in Hyderabad, The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), would perform “detailed investigation of the samples for genome sequencing to find out if the strain came from human beings or not.”

Veterinarians at the Nehru Zoological Park reportedly observed the lions exhibiting Covid-like signs within the final week of April.

Of the 12 lions at the zoo, eight had been discovered coughing with different signs together with nasal discharge and lack of urge for food, however the felines are reportedly “doing well” at the moment.

On Saturday, the state’s Chief Wildlife Warden had announced the park could be closed for guests from 2 May till additional discover.

“In view of the rapid spread of SARS Cov-2 in the country, the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change, New Delhi has issued an advisory to close all Zoological Parks, National Parks, Tiger Reserves and Wildlife Sanctuaries for visitors till further orders to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the announcement mentioned.

Wildlife biologist and conservation scientist Ravi Chellam mentioned whereas there are possibilities of transmission of the virus in captive environments comparable to in zoos, the potential for lions getting contaminated within the wild is negligible.

“In New York, last year, tigers and lions were reported to be positive for infection, and lab studies have also shown that cats can get the virus. Tigers, lions and other species of cats differ at the species level, but it is very likely that they are all susceptible to the coronavirus,” Dr Chellam, whose doctoral analysis was on the ecology of Asiatic lions and who has been concerned with analysis and conservation of the felines since 1985, advised The Independent.

“The coronavirus transmission is airborne so unless humans are in close proximity to wild animals in closed indoor settings, lesser than six feet, and they are unmasked, the chances for human to animal transmission is negligible. So the chances of humans infecting captive animals if people are following the due safety protocols, is very very low,” he added.

Though lions are additionally discovered considerably outdoors nationwide parks in India’s Gir forest, interacting with people and their lifestock, “more or less on a regular basis,” the wildlife biologist mentioned the possibilities of them contracting the virus in a freeranging situation from people is “close to zero.”

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