Reserves put on high alert after Bronx tiger tests positive for COVID-19
New Delhi, Apr 07: In the wake of a Malaysian testing positive for coronavirus in US Zoo, the central government has now issued an advisory concerning the well-being of wildlife, including tigers, in India.
Nadia, a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York, on Monday become the first of her kind to test positive for the coronavirus. Four other tigers and lions have also shown similar symptoms.
According to the zoo officials, the animals were infected by a zoo employee who was "asymptomatically infected with the virus" while caring for them.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued an advisory regarding the containment and management of COVID-19 in National Parks, Sanctuaries, and Tiger Reserves as it is felt that there are possibilities of spread of the virus amongst animals in these places.
Take immediate preventive measures to stop the transmission and spread of the virus from humans to animals and vice versa, in National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves.
Reduce the human-wildlife interface.
Restrict the movement of people to National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves.
Constitute a Task Force/Rapid Action Force with Field Managers, Veterinary doctors, Frontline staff, to manage the situation as quickly as possible.
Create a 'round the clock' reporting mechanism with a Nodal Officer for swift management of any cases noticed.
Set up essential services for emergency treatment of animals and their safe release back to their natural habitats, as and when required.
Enhance disease surveillance, mapping and monitoring system through coordinated effort amongst various Departments.
Maintain all other stipulations issued by the Health Ministry in the movement of staff/tourists/villagers, etc. in and around National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves.
Take other possible steps to control the spread of the virus.
Report the action taken to this Ministry.