GUWAHATI, April 6 - The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has written to all chief wildlife wardens to take precautionary measures in the wake of confirmation of COVID-19 in a tiger housed in the Bronx Zoo in New York.
Following the circular, the State Zoo authorities here have intensified sanitisation measures and disinfection drives, using fogging machines and other equipment.
�The State Zoo is safe as of now as we have remained cut off. The Bronx Zoo was open for visitors. Here, people are not going outside and no one is allowed to come in,� Zoo DFO Tejas Mariswamy said. He also said that for safety reasons meat is treated with potash water before being fed to the animals.
However, the staff who are going outside are sanitised properly on return. Even the goods which are brought from outside are being sanitised, he said.
�We have also intensified the disinfection process. We are trying to remain cut off from the city as much as possible,� he said.
CCTV cameras have already been placed to monitor behaviour of most of the inmates.
The CZA has asked the zoos in the country to remain on highest alert, watch the inmates round the clock using CCTV for any abnormal behaviour or symptoms. The zoos have been directed to isolate sick animals and handlers are not allowed near them without safety gear, preferably PPE.
Mammals like carnivores especially cats, ferrets and primates need to be carefully monitored and fortnightly samples of suspected cases sent for tests, the CZA circular stated.
The zoo staff have been asked to adhere to the safety and disinfection protocol issued by the government from time to time.