Two 11-week-old white tiger cubs that died in a Pakistani zoo final month seem to have died of COVID-19, officers mentioned.
The cubs died within the Lahore Zoo on Jan. 30, 4 days after starting therapy for what officers thought was feline panleukopenia virus, a illness that zoo officers mentioned is widespread in Pakistan and targets cats’ immune system.
However an post-mortem discovered the cubs’ lungs have been badly broken they usually have been affected by extreme an infection, with pathologists concluding they died from COVID-19.
Though no PCR take a look at for the brand new coronavirus was carried out, zoo deputy director Kiran Saleem instructed Reuters the zoo believes the cubs have been the victims of the pandemic that has killed 12,256 folks in Pakistan.
“After their demise, the zoo administration carried out checks of all officers, and 6 have been examined constructive, together with one official who dealt with the cubs,” Saleem mentioned. “It strengthens the findings of the post-mortem. The cubs in all probability caught the virus from the particular person dealing with and feeding them.”
Pakistan’s zoos recurrently draw the ire of animal rights activists, who say a whole lot of animals have died from poor dwelling situations there.
“The final two white tiger cubs have died at Lahore zoo and as soon as once more the negligence of the administration and authorities has come out,” Zufishan Anushay, founding father of JFK (Justice for Kiki) Animal Rescue And Shelter, instructed Reuters.
“White tigers are extraordinarily uncommon and want a selected habitat and setting to stay a wholesome life. By caging them in unhygienic situations with no medical preparations, we’ll hold witnessing these incidents.”
COVID-19 is a brand new virus, and the world is making insurance policies for people, she mentioned. “It mustn’t overlook animals in pet outlets, zoos and all over the place else.”
Saleem rejected the allegations of neglect on the zoo, telling Reuters that animal rights activists have been welcome to go to and examine the ability’s security and hygiene protocols themselves.
In December two Himalayan brown bears have been airlifted out of the Islamabad Zoo to a sanctuary in Jordan.
That rescue got here weeks after an elephant Kaavan was moved to a sanctuary in Cambodia, the end result of a years-long marketing campaign that included U.S. pop star Cher.
On the Peshawar Zoo, officers have mentioned 4 giraffes died in 2020. Final yr two lions at Islamabad Zoo suffocated when employees lit fires of their cages.
(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)