Asiatic lions test positive in COVID-19

Asiatic lions test positive in COVID-19

Asiatic lions test positive in COVID-19

  • Recently, 8 Asiatic lions in Nehru zoological park in Hyderabad have been found to be infected with Covid-19 infection, this is the first time the virus has been detected in animals in India.

Asiatic Lions)

  • Asiatic lions are native to India. They are one of the five pantherine cats. The other four pantherine cats are Indian Snow Leopard, Bengal Tiger, Clouded Leopard and Indian Leopard.
  • Gir National Park is the only known habitat for Asiatic lions in the world. The major threat to the Asiatic lions is the catastrophe of unforeseen events such as natural disasters and plague. However, the population of these lions has been steadily increasing since 2010.

Asian Lions Census

  • In June 2020, the Gujarat Forest Department announced that, the population of Asiatic lions in the Gir forest region increased from 523 in 2015 to In 2015, several lions died due to an outbreak of the Canine Distemper Virus (CDV). In 2018, several other lions died of Babesiosis. Babesiosis outbreak was also reported in 2020.
  • The first census of Asiatic lions was done in 1936, by the Nawab of Junagadh.
  • The Asiatic lion census is done regularly once per five years. The last census was done in The upcoming census was scheduled to take place in 2020, but was postponed due to COVID-19.

The status of the Asiatic lions

  • It is placed in Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and is included in Appendix-I of the CITES.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has placed the Asiatic lions in the Threatened Species category.

Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project

  • This was done to protect the living population. It was proposed to reintroduce the Asiatic lions in the Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in the project.

Source – The Hindu

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