12-year-old lion falls prey to Covid in Chennai zoo

A male lion named ‘Pathbanathan (12) died due to Covid-19 at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, popularly known as Vandalur Zoo, here on Wednesday.

The Vandalur Zoo management said in a statement that the samples of the lion tested positive for SARS Cov-2, as per the report of the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, communicated on June 3. Since then, the lion was under intensive care.

Earlier this month, a nine-year-old lioness named ‘Neela’ had died because of Covid in the same zoo.

After that the in-house veterinary team of the zoo had collected the blood samples, nasal/rectal swabs and faecal samples of 11 lions, which were sent for testing to the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), and NIHSAD.

As per the laboratory test results furnished by the institute, the samples of nine lions out of the 11 sent had tested positive for SARS CoV-2.