Twenty-eight elephants have been tested for Covid-19 in southern India, authorities said on Wednesday.

This follows the death in early June of a nine-year-old Asian lioness with the virus.

Screening tests revealed that the lioness and eight other felines, including two in a worrying condition, were carriers of the coronavirus.

“After the lions at Vandalur Zoo tested positive, […] we were asked to track the elephants as a precaution,” said a ranger from Mudumalai National Park.

A zoo in India is testing their elephants for COVID-19 after a 9-year-old lioness died from the virus at another zoo in Chennai.

The CDC says that the virus can spread between animals and people, but that is rare

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"It was just as a precaution"

Samples were taken on Tuesday from 28 elephants, including two baby elephants.

Testing should be performed by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute.

The results are expected within a week.

"The animals had no symptoms," says the forest ranger.

“It was just a precaution.

The direct debits did not pose any difficulty.


Some 21 tigers in Bhagwan Birsa Park, in the eastern state of Jharkhand, were also tested for Covid-19 in early June after the death of a 10-year-old tiger with a high fever.

According to the Indian news agency 

Press Trust of India (


, an antigen test performed on the tiger was negative but the results of a PCR test were still awaited when the animal died.


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