Chennai: Weeks after a nine-year-old lioness ‘Neela’ and a 12-year-old lion ‘Padmanabhan’ died due to Covid-19 in Chennai’s Arignar Anna Zoological Park, four lions tested positive for the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) of Covid-19 from the same park. The genome sequencing samples were taken on May 24 and the reports shows that the lions are infected with the dreadful delta variant which wreaked havoc since the country was hit by second wave of the pandemic.
Four lions at Chennai’s Arignar Anna Zoological Park found infected with delta variant of COVID-19
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) June 19, 2021
“Genome sequencing of 4 samples was done at NIHSAD in Bhopal. Analysis of the samples shows that all the four sequences belong to Pangolin lineage B.1.617.2 and are delta variant as per WHO nomenclature,” an official release from the Arignar Anna Zoological Park read.
Principal Secretary, Environment & Forests to the government of Tamil Nadu, Supriya Sahu said in a tweet that “Tamil Nadu government has constituted a State Task Force for Covid-19 disease surveillance and monitoring, vaccination for wild and captive animals and keepers. We shall supervise all wildlife sanctuaries, tiger reserves national parks and zoos. I shall be heading the task force.”
Tamil Nadu Govt. has constituted a State Task Force for #COVID19 Disease Surveillance & monitoring,Vaccination for wild and captive animals & keepers.We shall supervise all wildlife sanctuaries,tiger reserves,National Parks, Zoos. I shall be heading the Task Force @CMOTamilnadu pic.twitter.com/TNyMzAVblM
— Supriya Sahu IAS (@supriyasahuias) June 19, 2021
The senior Indian bureaucrat issues an order which reads that the surveillance and monitoring of animals will commence immediately and the task force comprising of six members would meet the review on regular basis to access the situation in the state.
Meanwhile, before the lions in Chennai, lions in Hyderabad and Jaipur tested positive for the same variant but they could recover quickly from the infection.