Chennai: A 12-year-old Asiatic lion, Pathmanathan, died from Covid-19 in Arignar Anna Zoological Park, popularly known as Vandalur Zoo, outside Chennai on Wednesday morning, a statement from the zoo authority said. This is the second coronavirus-related death reported from the zoo after nine-year-old lioness Neela, who succumbed to the infection on June 3.
“Samples of the said lion tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on June 3, as per the report of National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NISHAD) in Bhopal. The lion has been under intensive treatment since then,” the statement said, adding that the animal was housed in the lion safari area of the zoo.On June 3, lioness Neela died in the same zoo after a Covid-19 outbreak among Asiatic lions was reported. Nine lions tested positive for the virus in the zoo at that time. As a precautionary measure, samples of 28 elephants from the Theppakadu camp in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve were also collected and sent for Covid-19 tests last week. All samples have tested negative for Covid-19 in IVRI lab in UP, said KK Kaushal, field director, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.
According to the state forest department, senior vets from the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) are supervising the treatment of the animals.
For preventive measures and appropriate treatment, the Vandalur zoo is taking the help of Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, which is an approved animal SARS-CoV-2 virus sequencing centre for better understanding of zoonotic transmission.
All zoos in the state have been closed since April 20.
Source: Hindustan Times