Lions, tigers and covids? Oh my. Some lions and tigers at the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, DC have been tested positive for the Covid-19-causing virus.
Felines have been closely observed and treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-necrotic drugs, and antibiotics against secondary infections, according to a Friday announcement from Smithonian.
Animal zookeepers noticed that some big cats became anorexic, appeared lethargic, and observed coughing and sneezing. Fecal samples from these six African lions, the Sumatran tiger and two Amur tigers, were tested to be presumably positive for the coronavirus. Expect additional results the next day or so.
The zoo said it was not clear how the animals were infected. All staff wear masks indoors and in public areas as a standard practice.
The Atlanta Zoo and San Diego Zoo gorillas were previously tested positive for the coronavirus. In Atlanta, 18 of the 20 gorillas in the zoo were positive at the time of the recent outbreak, while the January San Diego infection was thought to have been first detected in US gorillas.