Bubli, a four-year-old female giraffe, died after a brief bout of pneumonia at the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad on May 26. Bubli, who was 4 years and 3 months old, had been brought to the Hyderabad zoo in 2019, as part of an animal exchange program with the Alipore Zoological Garden in Kolkata. Bubli was suspected to have been suffering from pneumonia as per preliminary post-mortem reports, the Hyderabad zoo authorities said in a press statement. Samples have been collected and sent to Telangana State VBRI (Veterinary Biological and Research Institute) for further detailed analysis, the statement said.
According to the Hyderabad zoo curator, Bubli had been ill for the past week and was being treated by the zoo’s veterinary team, with the support of veterinary experts from CCMB LaCONES (Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology’s Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species) and VBRI. With Bubli’s death, the Hyderabad zoo is now left with two male giraffes, Tsunami Basant who is 17 years old, and Sunny, who is about 6 years old.
Bubli was brought to Hyderabad from the Alipore Zoo along with Sunny back in March 2019, according to a report in The Hindu. Before Bubli and Sunny arrived, Tsunami Basant had reportedly been the lone giraffe at the Hyderabad Zoo for nearly 10 years. The zoo was recently in the news after eight Asiatic lions tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the first week of May. They have now recovered and are considered negative for the virus. Samples from the lions showed that they were infected with the A2a variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and not one of the concerning variants found during the second wave of COVID-19 in India. The A2a variant was commonly found among human COVID-19 patients during the first wave of COVID-19 in India.
The Union government has said that there is no evidence of the novel coronavirus being transmitted from animals to humans. The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had issued a statement which said that based on experience with zoo animals that have tested positive for the novel coronavirus elsewhere in the world last year that “there is no factual evidence that animals can transmit the disease to humans any further."