Chennai: The second wave has impacted not only humans but also animals in India. After 9 lions tested positive for Covid-19 at Vadalur Zoo in Chennai, the forest officials in Tamil Nadu’s Mudumalai have tested 28 elephants.
Taking note of the situation, Minister of Forests K. Ramachandran has ordered to check the Covid in all animals accommodated in zoos in Tamil Nadu and the Kumki elephants in the Mudumalai elephant camps. He said that if the animals test positive for Covid, they should be isolated first and given treatment. Following this, the forest department decided to do Covid tests for the elephants at the Mudumalai Theppakkadu Elephant Camp in the Nilgiris District and the Topslip Kumki Elephant Camp in the Coimbatore District.
There are 28 domesticated elephants in the Theppakadu Elephant Camp under the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. The tests were performed on Tuesday for all 28 elephants. Mucus samples of elephants have been collected. Samples of elephant droppings are being sent to the Indian Zoological Gardens in Uttar Pradesh for testing. Corona testing is also being carried out on Kumki elephants at the Topslip Elephant Camp in Coimbatore. The forest department said the once medical examination reveals the Covid reports action would be taken to isolate and treat them.
Meanwhile, strict restrictions have been imposed on the Mudumalai breeding elephant camp following tests on elephants. Steps have been taken to isolate elephants and to feed them individually. In addition, steps have been taken to vaccinate and conduct medical examinations for all, including elephant herders, helpers, and forest personnel working in the camp.
Earlier, the Vandalur Zoo was closed indefinitely last month due to the spread of Covid in animals. In this situation, the authorities noticed that 5 lions in the zoo showed health problems on May 26. Following this, experts from the Tamil Nadu University of Veterinary Sciences were called in to collect and test the mucus samples of 11 lions. Of these, 9 lions were confirmed to have infected by Covid. 9-year-old Neela, a female lion, died on the evening of June 3. The other 8 lions are being isolated and monitored.