Twenty-eight elephants have been tested for Covid-19 in a forest reserve in southern India, authorities said on Wednesday after the death of an Asian lioness attributed to the virus.
The nine-year-old lioness, whose hope is threatened, died in early June in the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai (former Madras), in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, according to local press. This is the first animal death in India attributed to the virus. Tests have revealed that the lioness and eight other felines, including two in serious condition, were carriers of the virus, Chennai’s The New Indian Express reported last week. “After the lions at Vandalur Zoo (Arignar Anna Zoological Park) tested positive for Covid-19, we were asked to screen the elephants as a precautionA ranger in Mudumalai National Park in southern Tamil Nadu told AFP on Wednesday.
Analyzes of samples taken on Tuesday from 28 elephants, including two baby elephants, are to be carried out by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute in the state of Uttar Pradesh (north). The results are expected within a week. “The animals had no symptoms, it was just a precaution», Specified the forest ranger. “The direct debits did not pose any difficultyHe added, as evidenced by footage from a video of the reserve shot during the process.
Some 21 tigers in Bhagwan Birsa Park in eastern Jharkhand state were also tested last week after a 10-year-old tiger died with a high fever, according to local press. The Indian news agency Press Trust of India (PTI), citing the reserve authorities, reported that an antigen test performed on the tiger was negative but they were still awaiting the result of an RT-PCR test.