Zoos across India have been asked to monitor its animals closely after a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City has tested positive for COVID-19.
In a letter to all states and union territories, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has asked the zoos to remain on high alert and monitor animals closely for any unexpected behavior or symptoms.
“Zoos in the country are, therefore, advised to remain on highest alertness, and monitor animals 24X7 using CCTVs for any abnormal behaviour or symptoms,” it said.
The CZA asked the zoo authorities to collect samples of suspected coronavirus cases fortnightly and sent them for testing to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Disease in Bhopal, the National Research Centre on Equines in Haryana’s Hisar and the Indian Veterinary Research Institute in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh.
The organization also asked the keeper or handler to tend to animals after wearing Personal Protective Equipments (PPE).
The zoos have been asked to follow all safety measures required to handle the deadly virus.
Nadia, the four-year-old Malayan tiger that tested positive, was screened for the COVID-19 disease after developing a dry cough along with three other tigers and three lions, the Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages the Bronx zoo, said in a statement.