Lion at Etawah Safari Park assessments COVID optimistic

Bareilly, May 7

A lion at the Etawah Safari Park has tested positive for COVID-19 and another was suspected to have caught the infection, days after eight Asiatic lions in Hyderabad were found infected with the virus.

“Sixteen samples of 14 Asiatic lions at the Etawah Safari Park had been sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) for RT-PCR tests for COVID-19. On Thursday, one lion tested positive for the virus, while another was considered as a suspected case. The remaining 12 lions have tested negative,” IVRI Joint Director Dr KP Singh said.

He said the sample of a lion was also received from the Delhi zoo and its report came out negative on Friday.

He said the report of the samples of the lions is being sent to the government besides the safari park management.

The chain of transmission of the virus could have taken place through any asymptomatic human carrier, probably caretakers, working at the park, Dr Singh said. He said the safari park authorities have been advised to shift the infected animals in isolation.

The safari park has already been shut for public.

The CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology had on Tuesday said eight Asiatic lions in the Hyderabad zoo have tested positive for COVID-19.

It had said these animals must have got infected through zoo-keeping staff.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had said the infected animals were behaving normally. — PTI

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