After a record 25,000 COVID-19 tests a day- third highest after Delhi and Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan has now started testing the state’s elephants for the infection.
Jaipur began testing elephants on Thursday at Amber Fort where more than 63 elephants stay with fifty owners.
The pink city is home to more than 110 elephants.
“Swabs have been taken from elephants for the first time in Rajasthan. We will send the samples to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly,” told Arvind Mathur, who examined about 50 elephants with three more veterinary doctors.
The check-up camp was for three days starting Thursday and has been organised by the state forest department in collaboration with Hathi Gaon Vikas Samiti.
This is the first time in the country that elephants are being tested for coronavirus.
Ballu Khan, President, Hathi Gaon Vikas Samiti said getting the elephants tested will keep them healthy and boost the confidence of visitors.
He also added that around 8,000 families are directly or indirectly dependent on elephants.
The elephants were guided by their mahouts who brought them to the camp in a queue while maintaining a distance.
“Testing the elephants for COVID-19 is part of the protocol. Samples were taken from their eyes and oral cavity,” Mathur told Hindustan Times.
Mathur said the results of the tests are expected in seven to 10 days.