Not to forget the wildlife…
While the lockdown has confined the humans to their homes, Adyar Times tried catching up with captive wild animals.
While all the parks have shut down for the public, the officials of Guindy Park are still on work. Dr.Ganesh, Deputy Director, Guindy Snake Park, explains, “We are functioning as usual but with reduced staff. The animal maintenance staff are here to take care of the animal’s needs like feeding etc. The veterinary staff also visit and monitor the animals regularly."
With a tiger at New York’s Bronx Zoo testing positive for CoronaVirus and the death of an ailing tiger at Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, attributed to respiratory illness, the Central Zoo Authority in India, has advised all zoos to remain on high alert. They have been asked to keep a watch on animals 24*7 for any behavioral change or symptoms, isolate quarantine sick animals.
Handlers should wear safety gear - preferably PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and have the least contact while providing feed to the animals.
The zoo authority also asked the samples of suspected mammals like cats, ferrets, and primates to be sent to the designated animal health institutes for testing for COVID. The authority has also circulated a detailed list of precautions charted by ICAR - Indian Veterinary Research Institute and the World Organisation for Animal Health.
Though Adyar Times could not get through to the officials at the children’s park, Dr.Ganesh assured that since the Forest Department is also part of the essential services, the wildlife, including the turtles are being taken care of as required.
Crocodile Bank which was established to save the three species of Indian crocodile - Mugger, saltwater crocodile, and Gharial, is open for donations for various purposes. A message from Rom Whitaker on Facebook said, “Our (Croc Bank’s) economy is a hand-to-mouths one; The Covid19 related shutdown has left us in dire straits, without any income from ticket sales and wanting to keep up the high level of care for the scaly folks. I’m sure some of you will come
forward to help and we’d be very grateful for donations towards this. Visit
http://www.madrascrocodilebank.org/web/make_a_donation for details, and many thanks in advance!”