Snow leopards are not normal cats or just any random member of the cat family; they are perhaps the most elusive and at the same time, captivating of all leopards found on the face of the earth.
But like with most gorgeous wild creatures, the snow leopards are, as we speak, suffering from a great dismay of the times. So what is that?
Truth be told, the furry mega cats find the ground beneath their feet shrinking; they are, ever so constantly, inching closer to the brink of extinction.
Facts be heard, it’s thanks to beautiful and well-meaning organisations such as the Snow Leopard Trust and leading expert conservationists such as Justine Alexander Shanti that much-needed effort is being directed to the plight of this one-of-a-kind cat.
But despite active efforts, research work, thesis and awareness building programmes, all of which are stimulating the world towards these ecstatic wild being, a great nemesis of the 21st century has struck them. It’s the COVID pandemic.
Believe it or not, but recently, the Nebraska zoo reported multiple deaths of its snow leopards on account of COVID 19 complications. So what really happened in Nebraska?
To understand the depth of the situation that rocked the cradle of the Nebraska zoo, it’s important to understand what news media had to say. But before we get in there, let’s take a moment to reflect on the official statement that stemmed from the behalf of an emotional recollection of just what happened at the zoo that led to the demise of the enigmatic creatures:
Our leopards, Ranney, Everest, and Makaly, were beloved by our entire community inside and outside of the zoo,” the zoo said in a statement. “This loss is truly heartbreaking, and we are all grieving together.”
The zoo first reported that the tigers and snow leopards tested positive for COVID-19 on October 13. After zoo staff noticed the animals had symptoms consistent with the disease, testing was done using fecal samples and nasal swabs. The big cats were treated with steroids and antibiotics to prevent secondary infection. No other animals at the zoo were showing signs of infection at the time and all of the infected animals had been anticipated to make a full recovery, the zoo reported.
That being said, according to news site Today Online, here’s a full text of the social media post that was put to address the situation regarding the demise of the snow leopards at the Nebraska Zoo:
“It is with deep sadness that we inform our community that three snow leopards at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo have passed away due to complications of COVID-19. Our leopards, Ranney, Everest, and Makalu, were beloved by our entire community inside and outside of the zoo. This loss is truly heartbreaking, and we are all grieving together. Sumatran tigers, Axl and Kumar, have made a seemingly full recovery from their illness. The Lincoln Children’s Zoo remains open to the public and continues to take every precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to humans and animals. We will continue following the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) and CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of our animals, staff, and community.“
To conclude, the only thing that one would suggest at such a grieving time is to reflect on the sheer helplessness of the situation that COVID 19 has caused. A time where forget humans, but even animals are not safe from the chaotic subversion of lives where what prevails in the end is helplessness and grief. That’s as if life, on its own, wasn’t troublesome enough! What do you reckon?