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Leopardess, lion die in squeeze cage at Chennai’s Vandalur zoo

Chennai, January 18

A leopardess and a lion died in a squeeze cage at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, popularly known as Vandalur zoo, near here, when the veterinarians were taking Covid-19 samples from the animals, a senior official said on Tuesday.

The leopardess Jaya, aged 18, apparently died due to difficulty in breathing while the five-year-old lion Vishnu died of oesophageal problems, a senior official at the zoo told PTI.

The deaths occurred on Monday when the veterinarians were taking samples of the animals after nearly 70 staff of the zoo showed symptoms of coronavirus and were quarantined.

“Though the staff has already been quarantined, we suspected that the animals, too, would have been infected. So, we decided to perform the swab test on the animals,” the senior official said.

“Animals, too, face health issues similar to humans. Last year, a lioness Kavitha (23), which was suspected to have died of coronavirus, suffered from cancer,” the official said. —

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