Bhubaneswar: In the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Forest Department is keeping a close watch on wild animals in Odisha, said Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Chief Wildlife Warden (CWW) of Odisha, Hari Shankar Upadhyay on Monday.
Referring to the Bronx Zoo in United States, where four tigers and three lions tested positive for COVID-19 last month, Upadhyay said the sample of a Seawet Cat — which was found dead near Chilika Lake on March 13 — has tested negative.
He said that that the forest staff across the state have been asked to keep a close watch on any sick wild species and take necessary step to ascertain the cause of the sickness.
Referring to the man-elephant conflict in Odisha, the PCCF said the number of casualties in elephant attacks has gone up with the death of 10 persons in April. He said the Forest Department has identified a location in the state to rehabilitate the elephants that frequently stray into human habitations.
The PCCF also informed about the hatching of thousands of baby Olive Ridley sea turtles at the APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Bhadrak district.
Asked about the shifting of the tigress Sundari from Satkosia Sanctuary to Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, Upadhyay said the process will start after the lifting of the third-phase lockdown.