Two white tiger cubs in Pakistan likely died of COVID, zoo officials say

By Mubasher Bukhari LAHORE (Reuters) - Two 11-week-old white tiger cubs that died in a Pakistani zoo last month appear to have died of COVID-19, officials said. The cubs died in the Lahore Zoo on Jan.

Reuters February 14, 2021 00:11:49 IST
Two white tiger cubs in Pakistan likely died of COVID, zoo officials say

Two white tiger cubs in Pakistan likely died of COVID zoo officials say

By Mubasher Bukhari

LAHORE (Reuters) - Two 11-week-old white tiger cubs that died in a Pakistani zoo last month appear to have died of COVID-19 , officials said.

The cubs died in the Lahore Zoo on Jan. 30, four days after beginning treatment for what officials thought was feline panleukopenia virus, a disease that zoo officials said is common in Pakistan and targets cats' immune system.

But an autopsy found the cubs' lungs were badly damaged and they were suffering from severe infection, with pathologists concluding they died from COVID-19 .

Although no PCR test for the new coronavirus was conducted, zoo deputy director Kiran Saleem told Reuters the zoo believes the cubs were the victims of the pandemic that has killed 12,256 people 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 said. "It strengthens the findings of the autopsy. The cubs probably caught the virus from the person handling and feeding them."

Pakistan's zoos regularly draw the ire of animal rights activists, who say hundreds of animals have died from poor living conditions 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, told 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. “It 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 came weeks after an elephant Kaavan was moved to a sanctuary in Cambodia, the culmination of a years-long campaign that included U.S. pop star Cher.

At the Peshawar Zoo, officials have said four giraffes died in 2020. Last year two lions at Islamabad Zoo suffocated when workers lit fires in their cages.

(Reporting by Mubasher Bukhari; Writing by Umar Farooq; Editing by William Mallard)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

Thyssenkrupp ends talks with UK's Liberty on steel unit sale
Business

Thyssenkrupp ends talks with UK's Liberty on steel unit sale

By Christoph Steitz, Tom Käckenhoff and Arno Schuetze FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp ended talks to sell its steel division to Britain's Liberty Steel due to differences over value, the latest setback in efforts to consolidate the European sector. Liberty Steel, led by commodities tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, last month submitted a firmed-up non-binding bid for Thyssenkrupp's steel unit, Europe's second biggest in terms of sales, which sources said included commitments to protect jobs and sites.

Factbox: Stonks in Washington: Deciphering Reddit's WallStreetBets lingo
Business

Factbox: Stonks in Washington: Deciphering Reddit's WallStreetBets lingo

(Reuters) - Reddit trading lingo may filter in to Washington on Thursday when top hedge fund managers, the head of Robinhood and Roaring Kitty himself are set to give testimony before U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers.

Brent gives up gains after rising above $65 on Texas freeze
Business

Brent gives up gains after rising above $65 on Texas freeze

By Stephanie Kelly NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices steadied on Thursday, with Brent edging back from a 13-month high, after a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories supported prices, while buying spurred by a cold snap in the largest U.S. energy-producing state petered out.