2 lionesses test Covid-19 positive at UP safari
Two lionesses, Gauri and Jennifer, have tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at Uttar Pradesh’s Etawah Lion Safari, said two senior officials associated with the safari and the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI)-Bareilly on Saturday.
Both the animals have been isolated, and their condition is normal, said Etawah Lion Safari director, KK Singh.
On May 5, authorities of Etawah Safari sent samples of eight animals to IVRI for tests after two of them fell sick.
Joint director (IVRI-Bareilly), Dr KP Singh, said while Gauri’s report came back positive on May 5, Jennifer tested positive the next day. Other samples were negative. “I am told one of the vets at the safari has also tested positive,” he said.
The IVRI has advised the safari to get all of its staff, including food suppliers, tested.
According to officials familiar with the matter, in the absence of Covid protocol for infected animals, the treatment of the lionesses has started in consultation with veterinarians. Gauri had 104 degrees fever and Jennifer 105.6 degrees, said the official. It is suspected the transmission of the virus could have taken place through an asymptomatic carrier, said an official.
“We will investigate the source of infection,” said the safari director.
Earlier, eight Asiatic lions at the Hyderabad zoo tested positive, following which all parks and zoos were shut down.