HYDERABAD: In perhaps the first such case in the country, eight Asiatic lions at the Nehru Zoological Park (NZP) in Hyderabad have tested positive for Covid-19.
Sources told TOI said that on April 29, the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB) orally told NZP officials that the RT-PCR tests of these lions were positive.
The curator and director of NZP Dr Siddhanand Kukrety neither denied nor confirmed this.
“It’s true that the lions showed Covid symptoms but I’m yet to receive the RT-PCR reports from the CCMB and hence it will not be proper to comment. The lions are doing well,” said Dr Kukrety.
“After Bronx Zoo in New York, where eight tigers and lions tested positive for Covid in April last year, there have been no such reported cases anywhere in wild animals. However, in Hong Kong, the virus was found in dogs and cats,” says Dr Shirish Upadhye, director of city’s Wildlife Research & Training Centre (WRTC).