Colombo, June 18 (NewsWire) – A lion at the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwala has contracted COVID-19, Lankadeepa reported.
Sources from the Zoo reported that the lion had been unwell over the past three days, following which it was examined and was found to be suffering from a cough and throat ache.
The authorities had thereafter acquired a sample of phlegm from the animal and had sent it to the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science in the University of Peradeniya for further examination.
The result of the examination had ascertained that the lion had contracted the coronavirus.
The lion, named ‘Thor’, has been in the lion exhibit of the Dehiwala Zoo for the last 08 years, since being brought from South Korea in 2012. The lion has been placed in the exhibit along with four other lions.
Sources from the Zoo further said PCR tests will be conducted on the other lions placed in the exhibit alongside ‘Thor’.
Three caretakers in charge of ‘Thor’ have been placed in quarantine by the Dehiwala Zoo authorities, following the detection of the virus.
Meanwhile, a zebra foal and a hippopotamus are reported to have died at the Dehiwala Zoo within the last two weeks.
Zoo authorities suspect that the cause of death may have been as a result of contracting COVID-19.
The infection has been detected at a time when the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwala has been closed for visitors due to the rapidly spreading third wave of the coronavirus within the country.