Nagpur: Alarmed over some animals in zoos getting infected by Covid-19, the National Tiger Reserve Authority (NTCA) has ordered closure of all Tiger Reserves in Nagpur region and other regions as well.
A press release issued by Rajendra Garawad, Deputy Inspector General of Forests (NTCA) stated that as per news reports, a lioness in Vandalur zoo, Chennai is suspected to have died due to Covid-19 infection and several other lions of the same zoo have been tested positive for SARS COV-2. This latest instance of zoo animals getting infected by Covid-19 once again indicates the high likelihood of disease transmission from affected human beings to captive wild animals. A similar transmission may also happen in tiger reserves. In view of this, it is once again reiterated that for preventing the possible transmission of Covid-19 from human beings to wild tigers and other wildlife, all Tiger Reserves under Nagpur region and other regions need to be closed for tourism activities until further orders, the press release said.
Copies of the instructions have been forwarded to Field Directors, all Tiger Reserves, IGFs / AIGF, NTCA, Regional offices, Bengaluru, Guwahati and Nagpur.
A few days back, eight Asiatic lions at the Hyderabad zoo had tested positive for Covid-19, in the first such case in the country, prompting the Union Environment Ministry to order the closure of all national parks, sanctuaries and national zoological parks in the country.