COVID in lions: TN Minister orders for tests in all Zoological parks and on trained elephants in Tiger Reserve
After the death of the lioness and 8 lions testing Covid positive, the TN Forest Minister K Ramachandran ordered for Covid test of all the animals in the different zoological parks and on trained elephants in different Tiger Reserves. As part of the process, 28 elephants in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve underwent Covid test and awaiting the test results.
After the death of the lioness in Anna Arignar Anna Zoological Park and 8 lions testing Covid positive, K Ramachandran, Tamil Nadu Forest Minister has ordered to get all animal species in different zoos and trained elephant camps in four different Tiger Reserves. To begin with, 28 trained elephants in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve were subjected to Covid test and the test results are awaited.
The decision comes after Neela, a 9-year-old female lioness, housed in Animal House no 2 at the Safari area of Vandalur Zoological Park succumbed on June 3. The dead animal was disposed of as per protocol and 8 lions are being monitored.
The animal biologists say that animals showed the loss of appetite from May 26 onwards and later were subjected to tests. Blood samples were sent to Tamil Nadu University of Animals Science (TANUVAS) whereas Nasal swab, Rectal swab and faecal samples of 11 lions were sent to the National Institute of High-Security Diseases (NIHSAD) Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh and the result showed positive for Covid.
Meanwhile, all animal keepers and helpers for these animal houses are vaccinated against Covid-19. Separate set of animal keepers are engaged for each group of lions. PPE Kits are mandatory for the animal keepers, veterinary doctors and field staff visiting the area, says an official from Anna Arignar Anna Zoological Park.
Total Zoological Parks in TN and Tiger Reserve
The TN has five Zoological parks including 62 hectares measuring Trichy Zoo, Thiruchirapalli which is on the formative stage and five Tiger Reserve including the newly added Megamalai Tiger Reserve is the fifth tiger reserve where the training of captured elephants is yet to take place.
1-Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur: Spread over 602 hectares area, this park houses 1500 animals belonging to 160 species and houses some animals like Lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur and Participating zoo for Indian gaur, Royal Bengal tiger, wild dog, king cobra and Malabar giant squirrel.
2-Children’s Park, Guindy: Spreads over 9 hectares are and 55 different species and 490 individuals wild dog, barking deer, hog deer, marsh crocodile, sarus crane.
3-Kurumbapatti Zoological Park, Salem: Spreads over 11.07 hectares, this park houses Spotted deer, Sambar deer, star tortoise, peafowl and others.
4-Amirdhi Mini Zoo, Amirdhi: Spread over 10 hectares. Houses Spotted deer, jackal, porcupine, birds, crocodiles.
Tiger Reserve in TN
1-Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve measures-1601.542 sqkm area.
2-Anamalai Tiger Reserve,1479.87 sqkm area.
3-Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, 688.59 sqkm area.
4-Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, 1408.405 sqkm area.
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