Eight Asiatic lions, who are housed in Hyderabad’s Zoological Park (NZP) have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, in an official statement, said that the lions were tested for the virus after they showed signs of respiratory distress. Their samples were collected from their nose, throat and respiratory tract under anesthesia, which later came positive.
“Further analyses of the samples have revealed that the infection was not caused by any variant of concern. The eight lions have been isolated and due care and necessary treatment has been provided. All the eight lions have responded well to the treatment and are recovering. They are behaving normally and eating well. Preventive measures are already in place for all zoo staff and the zoo has been closed to visitors to avoid minimal external contact,” the statement further added.
Soon after, Central Zoo Authority issued guidelines and advisories to the zoos towards precautions that are to be taken.
Further, the ministry stated that there is no factual evidence that animals can transmit the disease to humans.