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Primates potential COVID19 carriers, wildlife department urges forest dwellers to stay home

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Srinagar: Amid coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Wildlife Protection, Kashmir has advised people living near the forest areas to stay home.

The advisory comes in the wake of growing Covid-19 positive patients and also after a tiger in New York City’s Bronx Zoo was tested positive on April 6.


It lists the precautionary measures taken by Wildlife Department personnel and people living in the vicinity of forest areas to avoid contracting the virus.

“Mammals like carnivores especially leopards, leopard cats, primates are potential threat of spread of the infection amongst the wildlife animals in the forest areas. Consequently, it can lead to transmission from humans to wild animals and vice versa,” it reads.

The advisory pointed out that despite the lockdown in place, people living in the fringes of the forest and wildlife areas venture out to collect firewood, morel mushrooms and other minor forest produce.

“It is advised that people in general and those living close to the forest and wildlife areas should refrain from moving out, thereby, avoiding human-wildlife interface to prevent the virus from spreading,” it says.

Wildlife Warden Central Altaf Hussain said the wildlife department has roped in local mosque committees and Mohalla committees to reach out to the people and educate them on the pandemic.

“People who live in forest areas like Khrew, Khonmoh, Dharah, Limber, Lacchipora etc are advised to stay put wherever they are and follow the lockdown protocols properly,” he said.