12 big cats from Ranchi Zoo tested negative for coronavirus
Samples from seven Royal Bengal tigers and five other big cats at Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park here have tested negative for Covid-19, a senior zoo official said on Saturday.
Samples from tiger Shiva, who died on June 3 from prolonged illness, were among those that tested negative.
Samples from the felines were sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute in Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh amid reports of several captive big cats testing positive for infection across the country.
“Covid-19 test reports from 12 animals, including seven Royal Bengal tigers, came back negative,” zoo director YK Das told PTI.
Animals whose samples have been tested include Java tigers, Malik, Gauri, Laxmi, Saraswati and Kavery, Asian lions Viru and Jaya, hybrid lion Priyanka, black panther Mirza, leopard Radha, in addition to Shiva.
Das said that during the closure of the zoo, measures were taken to prevent the transmission of the infection among the animals, including the vaccination of zoo staff members and their regular testing.
Regular misting and sanitation of the enclosures and other parts of the park has been undertaken.
A high alert was raised at Ranchi Zoo after eight Asian lions tested positive for Covid-19 in Hyderabad in May, making it the first such case in the country.
On June 4, lioness Neela succumbed to Covid-19 and nine other pride felines tested positive for infection at Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur near Chennai.