In perhaps the first such case in the country, eight Asiatic lions at the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad have tested positive for Covid-19. The NZP houses over 2,000 animals and is one of the most visited parks in the country.
Sources said that on April 29, the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology orally told NZP officials that the RT-PCR tests of these lions were positive. The curator and director of NZP Dr Siddhanand Kukrety neither denied nor confirmed this.
“After Bronx Zoo in New York, where eight tigers and lions tested positive for Covid in April last year, there have been no such reported cases anywhere in wild animals. However, in Hong Kong, the virus was found in dogs and cats,” says Dr Shirish Upadhye, director of Wildlife Research & Training Centre.