Eight Asiatic lions in the Hyderabad zoo have tested positive for COVID-19 after their saliva samples were thoroughly examined by CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology here, Rakesh Mishra, advisor of the premier research institute said on Tuesday.
Now we are developing a method to test the samples of their faeces. This method would be useful in future as every time itis not possible to collectsaliva samples from wild animals, Mishra added.
He further said the virus which is present in the lions at the Nehru Zoological Park here is not any new variant. They have mild symptoms and they are eating well and they are fine.
Replying to a query, he said there is every possibility of animals contracting the virus as they are also mammals like human beings.
In view of rapid spread of the coronavirus in the country, the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change, recently issued an advisory to close all zoological parks, national parks, tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries for visitors till further orders to control the spread of the pandemic.