Two white tiger cubs in Pakistan likely died of Covid, zoo officials say – Times of India

LAHORE: Two 11-week-previous white tiger cubs that died in a Pakistani zoo final month seem to have died of COVID-19, officials mentioned.
The cubs died in the Lahore Zoo on Jan. 30, 4 days after starting remedy for what officials thought was feline panleukopenia virus, a illness that zoo officials mentioned is widespread in Pakistan and targets cats’ immune system.
But an post-mortem discovered the cubs’ lungs had been badly broken they usually had been affected by extreme an infection, with pathologists concluding they died from COVID-19.
Although no PCR check for the brand new coronavirus was performed, zoo deputy director Kiran Saleem advised Reuters the zoo believes the cubs had been the victims of the pandemic that has killed 12,256 individuals in Pakistan.
“After their death, the zoo administration conducted tests of all officials, and six were tested positive, including one official who handled the cubs,” Saleem mentioned. “It strengthens the findings of the autopsy. The cubs probably caught the virus from the person handling and feeding them.”
Pakistan’s zoos frequently draw the ire of animal rights activists, who say lots of of animals have died from poor residing situations there.
“The last two white tiger cubs have died at Lahore zoo and once again the negligence of the management and authorities has come out,” Zufishan Anushay, founder of JFK (Justice for Kiki) Animal Rescue And Shelter, advised Reuters.
“White tigers are extremely rare and need a specific habitat and environment to live a healthy life. By caging them in unhygienic conditions with no medical arrangements, we will keep witnessing these incidents.”
COVID-19 is a new virus, and the world is making policies for humans, she said. β€œIt should not forget animals in pet shops, zoos and everywhere else.”
Saleem rejected the allegations of neglect at the zoo, telling Reuters that animal rights activists were welcome to visit and check the facility’s safety and hygiene protocols themselves.
In December two Himalayan brown bears were 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 fruits of a years-lengthy marketing campaign that included US pop star Cher.
At the Peshawar Zoo, officials have mentioned 4 giraffes died in 2020. Last yr two lions at Islamabad Zoo suffocated when employees lit fires in their cages.

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