Lions infected with coronavirus

Thursday April 22, 2021 at 7:07 am
It’s quite alarming to note that a zoo in Hyderabad has registered a case where eight lions have been detected positive. This is the first such type of case reported in India where eight Asiatic lions from the Nehru Zoological Park (NZP) in Hyderabad are tested positive. On April 29, TOI proclaimed that the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB) reported to NZP officials that the eight lions are tested positive through the RT-PCR test.
Dr Siddhanand Kukrety, the curator and director of NZP remained silent on this topic. He is of the opinion, “Its true that the lions showed Covid symptoms but I’m yet to receive the RT-PCR reports from the CCMB and hence it will not be proper to comment. The lions are doing well.”
In the previous year, lions at the Bronx Zoo, New York were detected positive. Dr. Shirish Upadhye, Director of city’s Wildlife Research & Training Centre (WRTC) opined that after Bronx Zoo, such cases were not heard anywhere in wild lives. But in Hong Kong, the virus was said to be present in cats and dogs.
According to the sources from the zoo, the park’s wildlife workers saw certain symptoms in four male and four female lions. The symptoms included loss of appetite, nasal discharge and coughing. This caused an alarm in the wildlife veterinarians and hence the management ordered them to provide the samples.
The vets collected the oropharyngeal swab samples of these lions. The samples were then sent for test at CCMB in Hyderabad. Eight among the twelve lions aged 10 years were positive.
Immediately after that the park got closed as its located in an over-crowded region.