Delhi zoo on alert after tiger tests positive for COVID-19 in the U.S.

Staffers constantly monitoring all animals, says zoo director

Following a letter from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) in New York confirming that a tiger has been tested positive for COVID-19, an official from the National Zoological Park (NZP) in Delhi said they are on high alert.

Suneesh Buxy, director of the Delhi zoo, said they are constantly monitoring all the animals at the zoo. Notably, the zoo has been shut since mid-March following the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a letter, the CZA, said: “ United States Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories, in a statement dated April 5, 2020, has confirmed SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19] in a tiger housed in the Bronx Zoo, New York. Zoos in the country are, therefore, advised to remain on highest alertness, watch animals on 24x7 basis using CCTV for any abnormal behaviour/symptoms, keepers/handlers not be allowed in the vicinity without safety gear preferably PPE [Personal Protective Equipment], isolate and quarantine sick animals, and have least contact while providing feed to animals.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Buxy said, “Our handlers have been using masks and gloves as it was made part of the protocol after a bird flu outbreak three-four years ago. Also, we are spraying anti-viral chemicals as prescribed by the municipal corporation and we also carry out fogging.”

The director said there was “no need for panic”. He added, “We have been monitoring our animals through CCTV cameras. A number of our staff stay inside the zoo premises and we keep a close watch on the animals.” He also said the animals are relaxed since the lockdown. “There has been no case of animals falling ill after the virus outbreak and there has been no need to test any animals so far,” Mr. Buxy said.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 10:11:25 PM |

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