Indian zoos on high alert after tiger tests positive for coronavirus. Image:
Indian zoos on high alert after tiger tests positive for coronavirus. Image:

Indian Zoos On High Alert As Tiger Tests COVID-19 Positive In New York

April 6, 2020

Indian zoos have been put on high alert by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) after a tiger in the Bronx Zoo, New York, tested positive for coronavirus.

The New York's Bronx Zoo on Sunday said that a 4-year-old Malayan tiger had tested positive for COVID-19 and they believed the tiger contracted the virus from a caretaker who was asymptomatic at the time.

The tiger is named Nadia.

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Authorities informed that she along with her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions developed dry coughs.

They are expected to fully recover.

Taking cognizance of the same, the CZA has asked the Indian zoo authorities across the country to monitor animals 24X7 basis, using CCTV for any abnormal behaviour and symptoms.

It has asked the zoo authorities to not allow zookeepers and animal handlers in the vicinity without safety gear- preferably PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

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The CZA further asked the zoo authorities to isolate and quarantine sick animals and have the least contact while providing feed to animals.

The advisory further stated that mammals like carnivores especially cats, ferret and primates are to be carefully monitored and fortnightly samples of suspect cases to be sent to the designated animal health institutes to initiate COVID-19 testing.

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It further asked the authorities to follow all bio-containment and safety measures required to handle this high-risk pathogen as per the national / ICMR guidelines.

The Central Zoo Authority has advised that all personnel of Indian zoos to strictly adhere to safety and disinfection protocol issued by the Government, time to time, on novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The CZA further advised the Indian zoos to coordinate with designated nodal agencies of the Government responsible for public health response and permit screening, testing and surveillance and diagnostic samples as and when required by the nodal agency.

It was initially thought that SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) does not affect animals.

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