COVID-19: Eight Asiatic lions test positive in Hyderabad zoo, a first in India

Written By: Prasad Bhosekar WION Web Team
HYDERABAD Published: May 04, 2021, 01:29 PM(IST)

Asiatic lions Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

It is believed that RT-PCR tests of some of the animals, particularly Asiatic lions, were done as they were looking sick and displaying Covid-like symptoms. 

The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB ) has found that eight Asiatic lions of the city's Nehru Zoological Park (Hyderabad Zoo) are COVID-19 positive. 

However, as of now, none of them is in serious condition and all are on road to recovery. Fortunately, all these lions are now normal and eating their food.

In an exclusive interview with WION, CCMB director Dr Rakesh Mishra disclosed the following facts:

How did it happen?

"It seems to have transmitted from humans ( zookeepers ) through meat that's provided to these lions."

What do these results ( COVID-19 positive ) among animals indicate?

"The mammals are as vulnerable as humans. It seems to be the first such instance in India but elsewhere in New York, Spain and other places, there are cases wherein animals ( mammals ) are found Covid-19 positive."

What was the covid-19 variant found in these lions?

"It is not the new one but the earlier "A2A" variant."

Any guidelines issued to Zoos across the country after this particular development?

"We have already given our findings to concerned Central authorities and have advised to close Zoos for visitors all across the country, test all the employees and also the care with which the food is to be checked and given to the animals. Also, we are giving SoPs (Standard Operating Procedures ) for all the Zoos across the country in this regard."

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