TIRUCHY: A team of veterinary officials on Friday conducted swab tests and trunk wash for the six elephants housed at the MR Palayam Elephant Rehabilitation Center in Tiruchy. The move comes days after a few lions at the Vandalur Zoological Park near Chennai tested positive.
The forest department earlier this week started a precautionary testing camp for various animals housed at the different zoological parks across the state. As a part of it, six elephants -- Jameela, Gomathi Indhu, Sandhya, Jayanthi, and Malachi -- were tested for Covid by Forest Veterinary Officer Dr. A Sukumar on Friday.
The Forest Veterinary Officer who had arrived from Coimbatore for conducting these tests took rectal swab samples from the elephants and conducted trunk wash to identify if they are suffering from tuberculosis.
The swab samples taken from the elephants will be sent to Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) located at Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh for results, according to forest officials.
S Sujatha, District Forest Officer said, "Samples have been taken from all the six elephants as a precautionary measure. They all reported no symptoms and the sample will be sent to UP before the end of the week. Once the sample reaches the testing centre, results will arrive within 24 hours. We are expecting results by early next week."
In order to ensure the animals don't contract the virus, the forest department has been making several arrangements at the rehabilitation center to accommodate the six mahouts within it. Food is being prepared separately and accommodation facilities are being provided for the mahouts so that they won't venture outside the forest and risk the chance of contracting the virus.