Sri Lanka’s zoo seeks India’s help after lion tests COVID-19 +ve

Colombo: Sri Lanka’s zoological gardens authorities have sought assistance from India after a lion tested positive for the coronavirus at a zoo here.

The head of the National Zoological Gardens here said that they are in touch with India’s Central Zoo Authority to treat an 11-year-old lion named ‘Thor’ who has tested positive.

“We are in regular touch with the Central Zoo Authority of India and following their instructions on taking preventive measures to prevent the staff and other animals in the zoo being infected. We continue to treat the lion while keeping him in isolation,” Director General Ishini Wickremesinghe said in a statement.

 The lion was sent to the Colombo zoo from the Seoul city zoo in South Korea in 2013. The lion had been experiencing respiratory difficulties, but an initial antigen test result was negative.

After several other PCR tests, the lion was confirmed to be COVID-19 infected, she added.

 In India, a 12-year-old Asiatic lion who was treated for COVID-19 succumbed on Wednesday in the safari area of the Arignar Anna Zoological Park near Vandalur in Chennai.

 This was the second tragedy that struck the zoo as it lost a nine-year-old lioness due to coronavirus on June 3 and in total, seven lions of the 14, were infected.