Semi-wild elephants undergo COVID-19 testing after 9 lions test positive in Indian zoo

Written By: Sidharth MP WION
CHENNAI Published: Jun 08, 2021, 02:39 PM(IST)

(Picture of nasal samples being taken) Photograph:( WION )

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Theppakadu elephant camp is among the oldest in the country and was established in 1927. The camp and the Mudumalai Tiger reserve are run by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department. 

Captive elephants including semi-wild ones at the Theppakadu Elephant Camp in Mudumalai Tiger reserve have undergone precautionary tests for COVID-19, as per instructions from the Tamil Nadu Forest Minister. Theppakadu elephant camp is among the oldest in the country and was established in 1927. The camp and the Mudumalai Tiger reserve are run by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department. 

Testing of the captive, semi-wild elephants comes few days after nine of 11 lions at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP) near Chennai tested positive for COVID-19. A lioness among the pack of 11 captive lions had also succumbed to the virus at the zoo in Vandalur, near Chennai. 

According to officials at the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and the elephant camp, nasal and anal samples of 28(2 calf and 26 adults) jumbos were taken. These samples are meant to be sent to to a Government-run veterinary testing facility in Uttar Pradesh. 

When asked if the captive elephants showed any symptoms, the official told Zee Media that there were no symptoms so far and that this was a precautionary test. Even in the case of wild animals at the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Officials and their watchers have been observing them and have not seen any symptoms so far. 

Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, located in the Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu, but is close to the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Animals such as tiger, leopard, elephant, Indian Gaur (bison), sloth bear can be seen here. Owing to the ongoing lockdown in Tamil Nadu, all tourist destinations including Mudumalai are closed.

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