Inside the tiger’s den – This is how vets collect samples from wild cats for coronavirus test – WATCH
As eight big cats housed in New York’s Bronx Zoo have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, zoo authorities across the world are taking precautionary measures to avert the danger of the wild cats contracting the deadly viral infection.
When two Sumatran tigers at Zoo Miami had nasal discharge, lethargy and lack of appetite last week, the zoo staff decided to collect samples from the wild cats for the coronavirus test as they did not want to take any chances.
Miami zoo also shared glimpses of how the samples were collected from the wild cat’s body. The tigers were first immobilised after which the veterinarians collected nasal, eye, throat and rectal swab samples from their bodies.
The photos and video of the sample collection procedure were taken by wildlife expert and photographer Ron Magill.
Zoo Miami on Friday announced that the tigers tested negative for the virus. However, the staff will continue to monitor the big cats and retest if necessary.
Meanwhile, the Central Zoo Authority of India earlier this month issued an advisory to all the zoos in the country to remain on high alert and keep an eye on all the animals with the help of CCTV cameras. The zoo administration has been advised to inspect for any symptoms or abnormal behaviour.
The keepers should be wearing safety gear, preferably Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), while handling the animals. They should ensure minimum contact with animals while feeding them.
The zoos have been instructed to place the sick animals under quarantine. In addition, fortnightly samples of the suspect cases need to be sent to the designated animal health institutes to initiate COVID-19 testing.
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