India Sees Coronavirus Threat to Fragile Population: Tigers- NYT

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The deadly virus has reached in the animal kingdom. This time it is the endangered tiger population of the Indian subcontinent.

“The country is home to 2,967 wild tigers, roughly three-quarters of the world’s total remaining non- captive population.”

Cats are known to suffer from respiratory ailments, such as rhinotracheitis. The first confirmed case of the virus in a big cat was reported at a New York’s Bronx Zoo. Since then forest authorities in India have been kept on a high alert with an advisory to restrict the movement of people in the national parks, sanctuaries and reserves.

The article noted, “In a series of lab experiments at China’s Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, researchers demonstrated that the virus reproduces efficiently in domestic cats and can be transmitted by respiratory droplets between the animals.”

The authorities have been advised to observe respiratory symptoms among tigers such as nasal discharge, coughing, or laboured breathing.
For conservationists, it is not only the virus that is of the major concern. Illegal poaching of the feline population is a big scruple than the illness.
Restrictions of movement could also affect impoverished people living near and in protected areas who depend on it for their subsistence.

Link to original article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/science/india-tigers-coronavirus.html

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