Just when everyone thought COVID was on its way out, it has started spreading its tentacles once again. And the pandemic has spared none, including the animals. Hence the authorities at the Nehru Zoological Park are putting precautionary measures in place to ensure that the virus does not affect the animal enclosures.
According to NZP curator S Rajasekhar, all animals at the Nehru Zoological Park are healthy. However, to make sure that the rising number of cases do not affect or infect the animals in the Zoo, the authorities are taking all precautions and are ready to handle any situation. Rajasekhar adds that their veterinarians are keeping a close check on all animals and monitoring their sleep patterns eating patterns. All staff members also wear masks while approaching any particular animal.
Incidentally, during the second wave of the pandemic last year, eight Asiatic lions had tested positive for COVID-19. The samples of the lions, as collected from the nose, throat, and respiratory tract under anesthesia were shared with CCMB-LaCONES after the big cats showed signs of respiratory problems.
Much to the relief of the Zoo authorities, the number of people visiting the Zoo has reduced due to the increasing number of COVID cases in the city. They say they are getting around 40 percent footfall, which is approximately 2000 people. The staff, on their part, is ensuring that no one enters the Zoo without proper masks. Since the Zoo is very big, it has become easier for the staff to make sure people follow social distancing and other COVID protocols.
Efforts are also on to protect the animals from the cold-wave situation in the state. The staff is making sure that the animals are warm during the night. As the Zoo is on the outskirts, temperatures have fallen by 3- degrees, and the staff is doing everything to make sure the animals are well-protected.
The Nehru Zoological Park presently has about 2000 animals and birds of over 190 species.