Lions and Tigers and Covid? Oh my. Some lions and tigers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, DC, have tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19.
According to a statement released Friday by the Smithsonian, felines are being closely monitored and treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, antinausea drugs and antibiotics for secondary infections.
Animal keepers noticed that some of the big cats had a loss of appetite, appeared lethargic, and coughed and sneezed. Fecal samples from these six African lions, a Sumatran tiger and two Amur tigers have tested positive for the coronavirus. Additional results are expected in the coming days.
The zoo said it was not clear how the animals became infected. All staff members wear masks indoors and in public areas as a standard practice.
Gorillas at the Atlanta Zoo as well as the San Diego Zoo have already tested positive for the coronavirus. In Atlanta, up to 18 of the zoo’s 20 gorillas had tested positive in a recent outbreak, while San Diego infections in January would be the first to be detected in gorillas in the United States.