Kerala

City zoo steps up vigil

A tiger trying to find solace in a pool in the Thiruvananthapuram zoo.

A tiger trying to find solace in a pool in the Thiruvananthapuram zoo.   | Photo Credit: C. Ratheesh Kumar

Alert as tiger in New York zoo tests positive for the disease

The city zoo has decided to intensify the vigil against COVID-19 after the Central Zoo Authority issued a directive to chief wildlife wardens of all States and officers in-charge of recognised zoos on Monday to adopt precautionary biosecurity measures in the wake of a tiger in a zoo in New York testing positive for the disease.

A review meeting of Thiruvananthapuram zoo officials was held on Monday to discuss the directive issued by the Central Zoo Authority.

Zoo Senior Veterinary Surgeon Jacob Alexander said the Thiruvananthapuram zoo was the first one in the country to take precautions against spread of COVID-19 and the first to have barred the entry of visitors on March 13 with the aim of preventing crowds.

The zoo has been functioning with bare minimum staff, including animal keepers and other staff. All employees are being closely observed and keepers living some distance away have been given leave. Classes are also being held for the employees on safety steps.

Hand sanitisers and masks have been made available to them. Masks, in fact, were stitched after they became unavailable in the market. Adequate stocks of food and medicines have been arranged. Round-the-clock medical care is also available. Disinfection protocols for COVID-19 are being implemented in animal houses.

“So far, there is nothing for the zoo to be concerned about. All the animals are healthy,” Dr. Alexander said. However, to remain a step ahead, the zoo has ensured minimum contact of staff with animals.

“All safety measures are being complied with. However, the review meeting has decided to further strengthen these steps,” Dr. Alexander said.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 6:05:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/city-zoo-steps-up-vigil/article31274660.ece

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