DEHRADUN: Sample of a baby elephant of Rajaji Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand has been collected and sent for the COVID-19 test after the animal displayed symptoms of the fatal infection.
The samples have been sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly where the examination of the sample will be conducted to determine if the pachyderm is infected or not.
Amit Varma, director of the reserve said, "After prima facie examination our experts told us that the symptoms may be of pox disease which is also an infectious viral disease."
The baby elephant, Sultan was with five elephants at Chilla facility of the reserve. Two more apart from Sultan fell ill but have no symptoms of matching COVID-19 infection.
Sultan was found having swelling on his eyelids and mouth ulcers leaving him groaning in pain. Once the symptoms became evident on Saturday, a team of health experts was summoned from Haridwar to visit, examine and sanitize the entire place.
The baby elephant has been separated and staff have been deployed to look after the sick baby elephant.