Animal

8 lions in Indian zoo test positive for Covid-19


Lion cubs in their open enclosure at the Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden, which takes part in a captive breeding programme for endangered Asiatic lions, in Junagadh.


Lion cubs in their open enclosure at the Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden, which takes part in a captive breeding programme for endangered Asiatic lions, in Junagadh.

Eight
Asiatic lions at an Indian zoo have contracted the novel coronavirus, the
government said on Tuesday, adding that there was no evidence that animals
could transmit the disease to humans.

Zoo
authorities in the southern city of Hyderabad shared samples with a government
research laboratory on 24 March, after the lions showed signs of respiratory
distress.

The
test results come amid a huge surge in coronavirus infections among humans in
India.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and
Climate Change said:

Based on experience with zoo animals elsewhere in the world that have experienced SARS-CoV-2 positive last year, there is no factual evidence that animals can transmit the disease to humans any further.

The
Nehru Zoological Park has now been closed, it said in a statement.

India
has reported more than 300 000 daily Covid-19 infections for 13 straight days,
and has now recorded 20 million cases of the disease, the second highest number
in the world after the United States.


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