Lions and tigers and Covid? Oh my. Some of the lions and tigers of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, D.C., have tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19.
According to a release on Friday from the Smithsonian, the felines are closely being observed and treated with anti-inflammatories, anti-nausea medication and antibiotics for secondary infections.
Animal keepers noticed that some of the great cats had decreased appetite, seemed lethargic and were coughing and sneezing. Fecal samples from those six African lions, a Sumatran tiger and two Amur tigers tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus. Additional results are expected in the next day or so.
The Zoo said it wasn’t clear how the animals were infected. All staff members have been wearing masks indoors and in public areas as standard practice.
Gorillas at the Zoo Atlanta as well as the San Diego Zoo have previously tested positive for the coronavirus. In Atlanta, as many as 18 of the 20 gorillas at the zoo had tested positive during a recent outbreak while the San Diego infections in January were believed to be the first detected in gorillas in the United States.