Officials say jumbos not vulnerable to infection (State of Tamil Nadu,
The New Indian Express
June 7, 2021
COIMBATORE: Even as a lioness succumbed to Covid and nine other lions
tested positive for the virus at Vandalur Zoo in Chennai, officials of
Anamalai Tiger Reserve maintained that captive elephants were not prone to
Covid. However, they are on high alert and have taken several precautionary
A Sugumar, Coimbatore forest veterinary officer, said that elephants across
the world have not been severely affected by the virus so far. “However, we
can’t guarantee that they will not be affected in the future, but the
chances are low.”
A senior forest official said that over 50 mahouts and kavadis at the
Kozhikamuthi and Varagaliyar settelements had undergone RT-PCR tests last
month and temperature screening is conducted daily. There are 28 elephants
in the settlement, with the eldest aged 70 and the youngest, 10 years old.
The official further said that groceries were delivered at the doorstep of
mahouts and kavadis to prevent them from venturing out.
“As jumbos could spread the virus to other wild animals such as tiger and
dhole when they use the same water source, we have also ensured certain
water sources are being used by the elephants alone,” he said, adding that
a tiger in the area was also constantly being monitored.