In a first in India, as many as eight (8) Asiatic lions have tested COVID-19 positive. 

These 8 Asiatic lions have tested COVID-19 positive at the Nehru Zoological Park (NZP) in Hyderabad. 

The lions tested COVID-19 positive on April 29. 

The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) on April 29 informed the NZP that the RT-PCR test results of the eight lions had returned positive for COVID-19. 

Samples of the eight lions were sent for tests after veterinarians at the NZP noticed COVID-like symptoms among the lions.   

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Of the eight Asiatic lions who tested COVID-19 positive, four are male and four are females. 

Meanwhile, as a precautionary measure, the NZP authorities have closed the park for public for two days. 

Interestingly, 25 staff of the NZP had tested positive for COVID-19 recently.  

It is believed that the lions might have contracted the virus from the zoo-keepers or caretakers who had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier. 

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“Based on experience with zoo animals elsewhere in the world that have experienced SARS-COV2 (the virus that causes Covid-19) positive last year, there is no factual evidence that animals can transmit the disease to humans any further,” the government said in a statement. 

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