Himanshu Kaushik | TNN | Updated: Dec 23, 2016, 06.26 AM IST
AHMEDABAD: The threat of canine distemper is again hounding the Asiatic lion in its last abode. After tests by Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) confirmed that the four lions sent to Etawah in UP from Gujarat's Sakkarbaug Zoo had died of canine distemper virus (CDV), UP authorities ordered vaccine for the virus. Seven doses of the vaccine, brought from the American Zoo Veterinary Association have also been sent to Sakkarbaug Zoo, because authorities believe the virus is present in Gujarat, the last abode of Asiatic lions.
While the alarm about the presence of canine distemper virus in Asiatic lions had earlier been raised by Dr Richard Kock of Britain's Royal Veterinary College, this time the former director of Sakkarbaug Zoo, Junagadh, C N Bhuva, has confirmed the threat. Dr Bhuva is now the advisor to UP government for the Etawah Lion Safari project.
Quoting findings, Bhuva said, "The IVRI has confirmed that the four lions which died in Etawah had died of canine distemper virus. We then sought information about its vaccine and ordered some doses."
"Though the dose was not scientifically tested, we learned that there was no side-effect and hence to save the other six lions we ordered and administered the vaccine with positive results," said Bhuva.