Two tiger cubs who recently died in a Pakistani Zoo seem to have been killed by COVID 19, officials have announced.
The two 11 week old white tiger cubs who lived at Lahore Zoo died four days after starting treatment for feline panleukopenia virus, a common respiratory virus affecting cat’s respiratory systems.
However, a post-mortem has revealed severe lung damage, with pathologists concluding they died from COVID 19.
Although no PCR test for coronavirus was conducted, zoo deputy director Kiran Saleem told Reuters the zoo thought the cubs were the victims of the pandemic that has killed 12,256 people in Pakistan.
Kiran Saleem said that after their death, the zoo administrators conducted tests of all officials, and six tested positive, including one official who handled the cubs, and he said that it reinforced the conclusions of the post-mortem and that the cubs probably caught the virus from the person handling and feeding them.
Pakistan’s zoos typically receive heavy critique from animal rights activists, who say hundreds of animals have died from poor living conditions there, and Zufishan Anushay, founder of JFK (Justice for Kiki) Animal Rescue and Shelter, told Reuters that once again the negligence of the management and authorities has come out.
And said that white tigers are extremely rare and need a particular environment to live a healthy life and that by caging them in unsanitary conditions with no medical arrangements, they will keep seeing those incidents.
She said that COVID 19 is a new virus, and the world is making policies for humans, but that it shouldn’t neglect animals in pet shops, zoos and everywhere else.
Saleem denied the allegations of neglect at the zoo, telling Reuters that animal rights activists were welcome to attend and inspect the facility’s safety and sanitation etiquettes themselves.
In December two Himalayan brown bears were flown out of the Islamabad Zoo to a sanctuary in Jordon.
That rescue came weeks after an elephant Kaavan was transferred from a Pakistani zoo to a sanctuary in Cambodia, the culmination of a year’s long campaign that included pop icon Cher amongst its supporters.
At the Peshawar Zoo, officials have said four giraffes died in 2020, and last year, two lions at Islamabad Zoo suffocated when workers lit fires in their enclosures.
The CDC also lists several animals in zoological facilities have tested positive for COVID 19 in America, including large cats, great apes, lions, tigers and a puma.
But now it seems that every living thing that dies is going to be blamed on COVID, and I guess it could also be argued that our brain cells have also allegedly died from COVID, because now so long ago we were told that animals couldn’t get it.
However, that’s what science does, it changes its opinion based on the evidence available.
If you want something that keeps the same statement, regardless of evidence, you should just try religion!
Science is supposed to be based on facts, but scientists are allowed to change those facts based on differing opinions.
It can’t be that hard to test for COVID in animals, but without a proper test we shouldn’t rush to make any claims until we know for sure, but then I suppose it’s another way to keep the news feed going, whether it’s news-based or fact-based, and it won’t be long before people are giving their pets away.
At the end of the day, we don’t know much about COVID and it’s continually mutating, and circumstances like this have to be examined. So, there might not be any reason to panic, but there’s also no reason to blow it off either.