Sri Lanka to seek India’s help to treat COVID-19 affected lion

Sri Lankan authorities on Friday said they would seek guidance from India on treating animals contracting Covid-19, after a lion at a Colombo zoo tested positive.

Eleven-year-old Thor, a lion gifted by a zoo in Seoul in 2013, tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first known case of an animal contracting the deadly virus in the island nation, which is currently experiencing a persistent third wave, with over 60,000 active infections.

“We are seeking guidance from the Central Zoo Authority in India in order to treat Thor,” said Ishini Wickremesinghe, Director General of the Department of National Zoological Gardens. In a statement on Friday, she said Thor experienced breathing difficulties and did not eat over the last few days. Soon after, authorities at the Dehiwala Zoo in Colombo decided to test the lion for a possible COVID-19 infection.

While antigen tests showed a negative result, a few PCR tests taken subsequently showed the lion as Covid-19 positive. Thor has since been receiving oxygen support, while other animals have been isolated, according to zoo authorities. The animals' keepers have also been sent to quarantine.

During India’s second wave, several animals across Indian zoos tested positive. In Chennai, Pathbanathan, a 12-year-old lion, housed in the lion safari area of the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, died of COVID-19 on Wednesday. The zoo lost another lioness early in June, when nine lions tested positive.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 8:45:37 AM |

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