In a relief to zoo officials, all lions test negative for COVID-19
Chennai, July 23: Days after coronavirus outbreak was reported at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP) here, all the 13 lions have tested negative for COVID-19, and they are recuperating well, officials said on Friday.
They have not displayed any serious post-COVID signs or complications for now, AAZP said. The AAZP, which has been involved in hectic efforts to save the Asiatic lions and other animals from Coronavirus since the infection broke out in early June claiming the life of a lioness, said the latest results of the tests have indicated that all the lions were negative.
"As per the report communicated by the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, the lions have tested negative for SAR-CoV2," Naga Sathish deputy director of AAZP, which is popularly known as the Vandalur zoo, said.
"With this, all the 13 lions present in AAZP have now tested negative for SAR-CoV2 virus and no lion is infected as of now.All the lions are recuperating well and have not been showing any serious post COVID signs orcomplications as of now," he said.
However, considering the transmissibility of the virus, health condition of the lions is being closely monitored by a team of veterinarians and field staff round the clock, he added.
Giving an update on health of the lions housed at Vandalur Zoo, Satish said in a statement that nasal and rectal swab samples of the COVID positive lions were sent in two batches on July 9 and 17 to NIHSAD. The report communicated to the AAZP authorities on July 14 and 23, respectively, said all the samples tested negative for SARS-COV2.
The deputy director thanked the team of Veterinarians from TANUVAS, zoo staff, animal keepers of lion areas and others who worked tirelessly day-in day-out for the last two months to save the lions from COVID-19.