Kolkata’s Alipore Zoo alerted by Central body after tigress in US tests COVID-19 positive

The Alipore Zoo in Kolkata started disinfecting animal cages and enclosures on Monday after the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) asked all zoos across the country to be on high alert after a tigress in New York’s Bronx Zoo tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Sunday.

The four-year old Malayan tigress Nadia is believed to have contacted the virus from an asymptomatic worker.

The CZA issued a circular to all the zoos across the country to keep a constant watch on animals and report any abnormal behaviour amid reports of the spread of Coronavirus from humans to animals and vice versa.
In an advisory, the CZA has asked zookeepers and handlers in the zoos to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) before going near the animals. It has asked the zoos to monitor the animals round the clock through CCTVs for symptoms of COVID-19.

The zoo personnel have been asked to strictly adhere to the safety and disinfection protocol issued by the Centre from time to time.

Animals like cats, ferrets and primates are to be monitored more carefully and the samples of suspects have to be collected every 14-days for COVID-19 testing. The samples will be tested in three centres which are located in Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The zoos have also been asked to quarantine and isolate sick animals.

The Ministry of Forests and Environment has also asked national parks, sanctuaries and tiger reserves to reduce the human-wildlife interface and restrict movement of people as part of preventive measures to stop the spread of the virus.

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