Thiruvananthapuram: The forest department in Kerala has said that it is planning to keep its zoos and eco tourism centres shut even after the lockdown is lifted. This decision has been taken in the wake of news that a tiger in one of the American zoos has contracted COVID-19. 

The zoos in the state have remain closed for the last 25 days. The restrictions to the zoos were announced well before the lockdown was enforced. The caregivers of the animals are tending to them observing the best caution to avoid transmission of any possible disease to them. The department wants to avoid animal-visitor contact and avoid transmission through humans to the animals. 

Also read: Coronavirus: Zoos in India put on high alert after tiger tests positive for COVID-19 in US

The cages of the animals are disinfected twice every week with sodium hypochlorite. More number of veterinary surgeons will be deployed at the zoos if needed, said the forest department. The department is planning to facilitate a test laboratory in Palode Botanical Garden for testing the samples of animals with symptoms. 

The department advised the pet owners not to let their pets outside their homes if any of them are displaying any symptoms. People with symptoms are also advised not to mingle with pets until their symptoms settle down.