Wildlife staff asked to monitor tigers' health
Keep captive tigers Corona-free and follow NTCA norms, directs PCCF Sobha
Hyderabad: Amid reports that a tiger in a foreign zoo tested positive for Covid-19, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden, R Sobha, has asked the authorities to strictly follow the guidelines of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
According to PCCF, the NTCA communicated to the States that owing to the communicable and zoonotic nature of the COVID-19 the officials should look out for specific symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as respiratory signs of nasal discharge and coughing and laboured breathing, through direct observation to the extent possible besides through camera trap image for visible symptoms.
Further, the NTCA asked to ensure that persons handling tigers in human-tiger are negative and interactions and translocation operations should be ascertained to be Coronavirus negative.
The tiger handlers should take due precautions as per the advisories issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
That apart, in case of death of animals, the officials concerned should exercise due diligence while handling post mortem cases to record location, age and sex of the animal.
The wildlife staff also should take help of veterinary department officials while collecting samples for Coronavirus diagnosis, and take all precautions by wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).
For COVID 19 diagnosis as well as differential diagnosis and characterisation the samples collected should be sent to National Institute of High-Security Animal Disease (NHSAD), Bhopal, National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE) Hisar (Haryana), Centre for Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Itanagar, Bareilly, UP.
Filed staff engaged in the day-to-day operations in places like zoos carrying water for filling saucer pits is asked to strictly follow sanitisation measures.
Also, the wildlife officials are asked to observe monkeys and langurs moving in forest areas and in villages for signs of Coronavirus as they are susceptible to the disease.