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 Friday release from the Smithsonian, the cats are closely monitored and treated with anti-inflammatories, anti-nausea medications, and antibiotics for secondary infections.
Zookeepers noticed that some of the big cats had decreased appetites, seemed lethargic, and coughed and sneeze. Fecal samples from those six African lions, a Sumatran tiger and two Amur tigers likely tested positive for the coronavirus. Additional results are expected in the next day or so.
The zoo said it was not clear how the animals were infected. All employees wear face masks indoors and in public areas as standard.
Gorillas at the Atlanta Zoo as well as the San Diego Zoo have previously tested positive for the coronavirus. In Atlanta, as many as 18 of the zoo’s 20 gorillas had tested positive in a recent outbreak, while the January San Diego infections were the first to be discovered in gorillas in the United States.