One lioness has died of suspected coronavirus infection, while eight other lions at Chennai’s Vandalur zoo have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
In a release, the Anna Arignar Anna Zoological Park said that on May 26, five lions started showing loss of appetite and occasional coughing.
A team of experts was formed and samples of the big cats were sent for testing. The tests of nine lions returned positive.
The zoo added that one of the nine, a lioness, 9-year-old Neela, died on June 3 at around 6.15 pm. The animal had been asymptomatic and showed some nasal discharge only the day before her death and had been symptomatically treated immediately.
All the lions that have tested positive are under close observation, on prescribed treatment by the zoo’s veterinary team and are also being supervised by an expert team from Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS).