Two Lionesses Test Positive For COVID-19 At Etawah Safari Park

Two lionesses at Etawah Safari Park in Uttar Pradesh have tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. 

“We conducted tests of the lioness and sent the sample to IVRI Bareilly on May 3 and May 6, and reports stated that these lionesses have been found to be positive for the infection,” KK Singh, Safari director told ANI

A statement issued by the office of the Director of Etawah Safari stated that the treatment of lionesses has begun as advised by experts. The condition of both animals was stable as of 7 pm yesterday.

Dr. Singh said the chain of transmission of the virus could have taken place through any asymptomatic human carrier, probably caretakers, working at the park.

He also added that on Thursday evening, various experts including IVRI Bareilly, Central Zoo Authority of India, New Delhi, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, held a joint video conferencing regarding the matter.

Earlier this week, eight Asiatic lions were also found infected with COVID19  in Hyderabad’s Nehru Zoological Rakesh Mishra. 

Replying to one such query about the human-animal transfer, the advisor of CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Rakesh Mishra said there is every possibility of animals contracting the virus as they are also mammals like human beings. 

This is not the first time when COVID19 infection in animals has been reported. Earlier this year, in January eight Gorillas, got infected with the virus in San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

In the first week of April, health authorities in Belgium said that a pet cat contracted the novel coronavirus after being contaminated by its owner. 

Earlier, two dogs in Hong Kong had also tested positive for COVID-19, after the screening of 17 dogs and eight cats living in contact with people who had the virus.

According to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), so far, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19, and that further studies will be required to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19.

(With Agencies Inputs)

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