A nine-year-old lioness died last Friday (4) after contracting Covid-19 in a zoological in Chennai, India. According to the park, which made the death notice, eight more lions also contracted the disease and were placed in quarantine under treatment. This was the first recorded animal death in the country and the Asian lion was part of an endangered species.
The team from the 'Zoo de Vandalur' – or Arignar Anna Zoo Park – noticed the symptoms in the lioness on Thursday (2), she had nasal secretions and the condition evolved quickly, since even with the immediate care of the doctors vets she couldn't resist and died the following night.
According to the local website The Hindu, a total of nine positive results for the virus were presented, against only two negative. Five animals they also had loss of appetite and occasional coughing, and all those infected were transferred to the National Institute of High-Safety Diseases. According to a second local vehicle, “The New Indian Express”, two cats are said to be in serious condition.
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The outbreak also happened last month at another animal park in India, Nehru Zoo. However, of the eight lions that tested positive, none showed severe symptoms and managed to recover from the disease.
After the cat's death, authorities ordered tests on 28 elephants from a forest reserve in southern India, which is close to Arignar Anna Zoo. “After the lions at the Vandalur Zoo tested positive for Covid-19, we were asked to examine the elephants as a precaution,” a national ranger told AFP (Agence France-Presse) on Wednesday (9).
The guard also added that "the animals did not show symptoms" being just a precautionary measure. Conducted by the Indian Institute of Veterinary Research in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the test results are expected to come out within a week.
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