Coronavirus: Quarantine facilities open at Corbett, Rajaji National Park to protect animals from COVID-19
Amid the coronavirus scare, quarantine wards have been set up for animals at the Corbett and Rajaji National Parks in order to protect the wildlife from the deadly virus. These isolation wards, that have been set up within the National Tiger Conservation Authority guidelines, are positioned at Kalagarh and Bijrani ranges of Uttarakhand’s Corbett National Park.
The decision was taken by the authorities, following the news of a tigress named Nadia testing positive for the virus at the Bronx Zoo in New York City, United States.
In addition to this, to ensure the protection of tigers, elephants, and sniffer dog squads, 40 video-mode cameras and 450 still-mode cameras have been installed at the peripheries of the Corbett Tiger Reserve. The patrolling staff has also been specifically briefed to keep a close eye on the animals of the reserve, in case they develop any symptoms, which can point toward them having contracted COVID-19.
The staff at the reserve has been asked to stay put at the posts, and are provided with essentials, so as to prevent the off-chance where the animals may be put at risk by possibly infected caretakers. The Jim Corbett National Park is home to 250 tigers and 1,100 elephants.
"The wildlife wing of Uttarakhand Forest Department is taking all preventive measures to protect the animal world from the deadly virus by keeping a close watch on them. All arrangements have been made as per the NTCA guidelines," said Chief Wildlife Warden Rajiv Bharatari, according to EdexLive.
Tigress Nadia (Image: Since Independence)
Similar arrangements have also been made at the Rajaji National Park, which is home to 38 tigers and 450 elephants, for protecting them from the novel coronavirus. It has also been affirmed that if in the near future, there arises a necessity to quarantine animals, the quarantine centres can be used.
"The reserve is under complete lockdown. The food for captive animals is sanitised at the gates before being brought in to be served to them. Zookeepers who handle them are also being subjected to regular thermal screening to check if they have any symptoms of coronavirus," PK Patro, Director of Rajaji National Park told to PTI.