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Smithsonian's National Zoo Big Cats Recovering from Covid-19

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: October 10, 2021 10:59 pm

Covid-19 in big cats at Smithsonian

Lions and tigers at the Smithsonian's National Zoo have tested presumptive positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. Pictured is a male African lion, Luke

Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo

The Smithsonian's National Zoo has provided an update on the six African lions and three tigers which tested presumptive positive for the virus causing Covid-19 in mid-September.

All of the cats are now behaving and eating normally. Follow up results from eight of the individuals were reported as undetermined indicating that it is likely negative or no virus was detected.

One African lion, Luke was still assessed as being positive. His sample was collected on September 30th while the rest were collected on October 4th 2021.

Two more sets of samples are set to be collected and it is anticipated that all individuals will be clear of the virus over the next two weeks.

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The zoo are continuing to follow the Covid-19 protocols which have been in place throughout the pandemic.

It is anticipated that animals at the Smithsonian's National Zoo will receive a vaccine made for animals in the coming months.

Over their time with the virus the cats at the Smithsonian's National Zoo experienced decreases in appetite, a mild cough, dehydration and abnormal respiration. To encourage the animals to eat they were provided special treats such as goat milk and cheese, chicken broth and elk meat.

The recovery is especially exciting for one lioness Shera. During a September 24th 2021 update the zoo announced that her bloodwork had indicated the presence of renal failure.

Covid-19 in big cats at Smithsonian

Lions and tigers at the Smithsonian's National Zoo have tested presumptive positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. Pictured is a female Sumatran tiger, Damai.

Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo

Learn more about Lions here – Lion Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about tigers here – Tiger Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Smithsonian's National Zoo on their website – Smithsonian's National Zoo

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