Covid-19: Four lions test positive for Delta variant at Chennai zoo

Chennai - Nine lions in total at the zoo had confirmed infections of the deadly virus.

By Web Report

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Published: Sat 19 Jun 2021, 1:49 PM

Genome sequencing of samples from four Covid-19 infected lions at the Chennai zoo revealed they are from the Pangolin lineage B.1.617.2 and are Delta variants as per the WHO nomenclature, which classified it as a variant of concern.

The zoo had sent samples of 11 lions to test for SARS Cov-2 to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases Bhopal. It was confirmed that the samples of nine lions had tested positive and the animals have been under active treatment.

Two lions have already died at the Chennai zoo. They include a 12-year-old male named Pathbanathan, who died following an infection on Wednesday, and a nine-year-old lioness, Neela, who passed away on June 3. Ten more infected lions are being treated by veterinarians at the zoo.

Eight lions at the Hyderabad zoo also tested positive for Covid, but all have recovered.

Another 19-year-old lion named Ragave had also tested positive for the Canine distemper, a highly contagious virus. It was kept in isolation and has recovered now. The zoo has been closed for the public since April.

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