The death of a lioness in Chennai’s Vandalur Zoo on June 3 has made the National Tiger Conservation Authority issue an order closing all State Tiger Reserves for tourism purposes. The order comes from the National Tiger Conservation Authority to prevent the spread of Covid to animals from humans.
Rajendra G Garawad, Deputy Inspector General of Forests National Tiger Conservation Authority has given a standing instruction to Chief Wildlife Wardens of All Tiger Range States to suspend tourism in their respective Tiger Reserves until further orders.
The order dated July 7 states that following the reports of lioness death in Vandalur Zoo and with the 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. Hence, to prevent the possible transmission of Covid-19 from human beings to wild tigers and other wildlife, all Tiger Reserves under your jurisdiction need to be closed for tourism activities until further orders.” the order stated.
On June 3, a lioness succumbed in Vandalur zoo and 8 lions under captive also tested positive for Covid and are being monitored by animal biologists and veterinarians.
Meanwhile, based on the order from Tamil Nadu K Ramachandran, animals across all the zoological parks and captive elephants in the Tiger Reserves will be subjected to Covid test and will be treated accordingly. To begin with, 28 elephants were subjected to the Covid test and results are awaited.