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One more lion succumbs to Covid-19 at Chennai’s Vandalur zoo

Pathbanathan was under intensive treatment after testing positive for coronavirus. He is the second Covid casualty at the zoo, which lost a 9-year-old lioness named Neela on June 3.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
June 16, 2021 6:56:02 pm
The lion, named Pathbanathan, housed in the safari area, passed away at 10:15 am as per the official release by the zoo. (Representational)

A 12-year-old lion succumbed to coronavirus at Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP) at Vandalur on Wednesday, making it the second such casualty at the zoo after the death of a lioness on June 3.

The lion, named Pathbanathan, housed in the safari area, passed away at 10:15 am as per the official release by the zoo.

“The samples of the said lion had tested Positive for SARS-CoV-2 as per the report of National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal communicated on 03.06.2021. The lion was under intensive treatment since then,” the release said.

A couple of days ago, the park officials said three lions infected with the virus were responding slowly to treatment and efforts were on to help them recuperate.

A week ago, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin visited AAZP to review the measures being taken by the zoo authorities to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Later, forest minister K Ramachandran too made a visit.

AAZP director Debasis Jana briefed the workers about measures such as thermal scanning, irradiation of feed, complete vaccination for all staff, and mandatory PPE for those working close to animal enclosures.

It all began on May 26 when lions in the safari area started showing symptoms like nasal discharge, fever, coughing and loss of appetite. On further testing, it was revealed that 11 out of the 15 lions (male and female) were infected with coronavirus. Following this, the lioness Neela, aged 9, died.

The park now has six lions and seven lionesses after these deaths.

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