May 4, 2021, 1:56 PM

Representational image (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

Representational image (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

In what appears to be the first ever such case in India, eight lions (four males and four females) tested COVID-19 positive in Hyderabad zoo.

The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology told the Nehru Zoological Park (NZP) that the RT-PCR tests of the eight lions had come out positive for COVID-19.

Curator and Director of NZP Dr Siddhanand Kukrety did not officially confirm the news. However, he told The Economic Times, “It's true that the lions showed COVID-19 symptoms but I'm yet to receive the RT-PCR reports from the CCMB and hence it will not be proper to comment. The lions are doing well.”

The NZP officials got the lions tested for COVID-19 (vets took oropharyngeal - part of the pharynx that lies between the soft palate and the hyoid bone - swab samples of the lions) after they showed COVID-19-like symptoms including loss of appetite, nasal discharge, and coughing among the lions. Recently 25 staff from the zoo tested COVID-19 positive. 

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