According to officials at the national park, two lions in Uttar Pradesh at the Etawah Safari Park have tested positive for coronavirus.
The blood samples were sent for testing after the two lions were found to have high body temperatures.
Authorities said that the pair were in steady condition. They have been kept in isolation away from other animals, with their health being observed regularly.
This is the second incident of lions testing positive for COVID-19. It comes after eight lions had tested positive at the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad on May 2.
The Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change had initially stated that based on the history with zoo animals who had also tested positive for coronavirus around the world, there is “no proof that animals can pass the disease to humans.”
The Etawah Safari park has been shut down to tourists due to the increase in coronavirus cases across the country, home to 1.3 billion people according to India’s 2011 census. Uttar Pradesh is the country’s most populous state, with a 200 million population. According to a report from John Hopkins University, the state recorded a ten-day average of 28,780 cases Saturday.
The second wave of COVID-19 has hit India and its significant cities hard. Cases in New Delhi, the capital, started accelerating in March, increasing rapidly in mid-April– and as the virus transmitted from state to state, other regions of the country began to experience their own surge in cases.
India added 402,080 new coronavirus cases; on the fourth day in a row, more than 400,000 cases have been recorded. The total number of cases in the entire country is approximately 21,892,667.
More than 168 million vaccine shots have been provided in India, according to a statement released by the health ministry on Thursday evening.