Bir Talab zoo on alert after tigress tests positive in US

Bir Talab zoo on alert after tigress tests positive in US

Officials at the Bir Talab zoo in Bathinda have made elaborate arrangements to ensure the safety of animals, especially those from the cat family. Tribune file

Sameer Singh

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 8

After a tigress tested positive for Covid at the Bronx zoo in the US recently, the authorities in the country are on high alert. Following the directions of the Central Zoo Authority, officials at the Bir Talab zoo here have made elaborate arrangements to ensure the safety of animals, especially those from the cat family.

Notably, there are three big cats and leopards in the zoo here. According to Forest Department officials, arrangements were already made when the curfew was imposed. But after a recent directive from the Central Zoo Authority, arrangements have been ramped up now with a round-the-clock intensive vigil through CCTV cameras. Moreover, officials are also visiting enclosures in the day. They have also been using disinfectants on the enclosures of animals and other areas inside the zoo.

Caretakers use protective gear such as masks and gloves while attending to animals in the enclosures. Even food items, including grass and fodder, and water are being served after using disinfectants such as potassium permanganate. More than 350 animals of several species are living in the Bir Talab zoo.

Talking to Bathinda Tribune, Pawan Sridhar, range officer, Forest Department, said, “We have already taken the required steps to keep our animals safe and in shape. As per the directions of higher officials, the zoo was closed for the public on March 19. Recently when a tigress tested positive for Covid in the US, the Central Zoo Authority also issued directions. Everything has been taken care of and apart from carrying out disinfection activities, animals are kept under intensive vigil round the clock.”

“Caretakers use protective gear while feeding animals and cleaning enclosures. Moreover, caretakers even with mild symptoms of cold cough or fever are being asked to stay at home. We have been keeping a regular watch on the activities of animals,” he added.

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