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

Lahore: Two 11-week-old white tiger cubs killed last month at a zoo in Pakistan appear to have died from Kovid-19.
The cubs died on January 30 at the Lahore Zoo, four days after authorities began treatment for what they thought was a disease that zoo officials said is common in Pakistan and targets the cats’ immune system.
But after an autopsy found that the cubs’ lungs had been severely damaged and were suffering from a severe infection, the pathologist concluded that he died of COVID-19.
Although no PCR test was conducted for the new coronavirus, the zoo’s deputy director Kiran Salim told Reuters that the zoo believed the cubs were victims of an epidemic that has killed 12,256 people in Pakistan.
“After his death, the zoo administration conducted tests of all officers, and six tested positive, including one officer who handled the cubs,” said Salim. “This reinforces the findings of the autopsy. The cubs probably caught the virus from the person handling and feeding them.”
Zoos in Pakistan regularly draw the ire of animal rights activists, who say hundreds Animals Have died of poor living conditions there.
JFK (Justice for Kiki) Animal Rescue and Shelter founder Jufishan Anushay told Reuters, “The last two white tiger cubs have died at the Lahore Zoo and once again the negligence of management and authorities has been revealed.
“White tigers are extremely rare and require a specific habitat and environment to live a healthy life. Without any medical arrangements keeping them in a cage under unhygienic conditions, we will continue to witness these events.”
He said that Kovid-19 is a new virus and the world is making policies for humans. “It should not be forgotten about pet shops, zoos and animals everywhere.”
Salim dismissed allegations of neglect at the zoo, telling Reuters that animal rights activists were welcome to check the facility’s safety and hygiene protocols themselves.
In December, two Himalayan brown bears were taken from the Islamabad Zoo to a sanctuary in Jordan.
The rescue came weeks after an elephant was transported to Kawan to a sanctuary in Cambodia, the culmination of a year-long campaign that included American pop star Cher.
At the Peshawar Zoo, officials have said that four giraffes died in 2020. Two lions succumbed to Islamabad zoo last year when workers burnt fire in their cages.

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