Nahargarh Biological Park lion contracts Covid-19; Negligence cited
Jaipur: A lion has tested positive for Covid-19 at Nahargarh Biological Park in Jaipur, raising concern for the safety of wild animals here. Samples were collected from the lion, named Tripur, along with 12 other animals. Only the lion tested positive. It is suspected that the lion may have acquired Coronavirus from an employee of the park. The animal is however stated to be in good health.
Doctors wearing PPE kits had collected samples from the lion recently. The samples were sent to (Indian Veterinary Research Institute) IVRI Barrellie. After Tripur tested positive, the animal was put under observation.
Sources said the samples of 12 other animals including tigers and a panther were collected. They all have tested negative. The lion has been quarantined.
More than 30 employees are currently working at Nahargarh Biological Park in Jaipur; however, none had been vaccinated until the reports last came in. Wildlife experts also alleged that the employees don’t follow Covid-19 guidelines when feeding the animals. It is the first case of a wild animal getting infected with coronavirus in Rajasthan. In fact, ACF Jagdish Gupta and ranger Banwari Lal had tested positive recently. The staff is not screened when they are allowed into the park for regular upkeep and other works.
Earlier, the authorities had shut down tiger safari at Ranthambore National Park amid concerns of tigers contacting the virus from humans.