Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid India: 8 Asiatic lions test positive for coronavirus

Web report/Hyderabad
Filed on May 4, 2021
Photo: Reuters

It is the first known instance of such a case in India.

Eight Asiatic lions at the sprawling Nehru Zoological park in Hyderabad have tested positive for the coronavirus, the first known instance in India.

In April 2020, eight lions and tigers had tested positive for Covid in New York’s Bronx zoo.

Dr Siddhanand Kukrety, curator and director of the Hyderabad zoo, told the Times of India that the lions had shown Covid symptoms. “But I am yet to receive RT-PCR reports from the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB),” he said.

He noted that the lions were doing well. The CCMB will do a detailed investigation of the samples for genome sequencing to check if the strain came from humans.

The 380-acre park has more than 1,500 creatures.

Last month, some caretakers alerted the veterinary team after they noticed that lions had dry cough, nasal discharge and had no appetite.


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One of the biggest and most popular zoos in India, it has been closed for visitors. About 25 zoo employees have also tested positive for Covid.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the coronavirus can spread from human beings to animals if there is close contact between them, especially a person infected with the virus.

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