Assam State Zoo Increases Monitoring After US Tiger Tested COVID-19 Positive
GUWAHATI: After receiving instructions to take precautionary measures in the wake of a tiger testing positive for the novel coronavirus in USA, the Assam state zoo authorities have stepped up measures to ensure welfare of animals.
“We have increased surveillance of all animals in the zoo as we have received instructions to monitor all the animals frequently and closely,” said Aparajita Borbora, public relations officer of the Assam State Zoo.
She added, “Right now there is no such complication in any animal and all of them are staying healthily and are being provided with good food. Apart from this, we are also taking care of all their needs.”
The zoo officials informed that additionally, they have been taking precautions since the pandemic’s outbreak. For instance, no person can enter or leave the zoo without the permission of the authorities.
It is to be mentioned that the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has instructed all the zoos across the country to keep a close watch on the health of the animals.
In a letter, the CZA has asked all the zoos “to remain on high alertness, watch animals on 24X7 basis, using CCTV for any abnormal behaviour/symptoms.”
The zoos have also been asked to isolate and quarantine sick animals and instructed officials to maintain least contact while pproviding food to the animals.
On April 6, Assam minister for environment and forest, Parimal Shuklabaidya, took to social media and shared the measures being taken by authorities in the Assam State Zoo against COVID-19. He mentioned that the zoo has been closed down for visitors since March 16 and no one except ration suppliers are allowed to enter or exit zoo.
He further shared that “people or materials entering zoo is fully sanitised with disinfectant, the zoo campus including animal cages and enclosure is fully sanitized and disinfected using a strong virucidal - Virkon S and all staffs are provided with masks and sanitisers.”
It is to be mentioned that in a first known case of a human infecting an animal and making it sick, a 4-year-old Malayan tiger, Nadia, had tested positive for coronavirus in Bronx Zoo, USA. She was screened for the COVID-19 disease after developing a dry cough along with three other tigers and three lions.