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Washington, D.C. - Great Cats Tested Presumptive Positive For COVID-19 at the Smithsonian's National Zoo

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  • Washington, D.C. - Great Cats Tested Presumptive Positive For COVID-19 at the Smithsonian's National Zoo

    Great Cats Tested Presumptive Positive For COVID-19 at the Smithsonian's National Zoo

    Sep. 17, 2021

    • Lions and tigers at the Smithsonian's National Zoo have tested presumptive positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. All great cats are being treated with medication and are under close observation. Pictured in this photo is adult male African lion, Luke.

    • Three adult female lions at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.

    • Adult female Sumatran tiger, Damai, at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.
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    Six African lions, a Sumatran tiger and two Amur tigers have tested presumptive positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. Last weekend, animal keepers observed decreased appetites, coughing, sneezing and lethargy in several lions and tigers. Fecal samples for all great cats were collected and tested presumptive positive. Final results are expected in the next few days. All lions and tigers are being treated with anti-inflammatories and anti-nausea medication to address discomfort and decreased appetite. In addition, all are being treated with antibiotics for presumptive secondary bacterial pneumonia. They remain under close observation and, because their condition does not require they remain inside, staff will manage the cats’ access to their outdoor habitats. Given the substantial distance between the animals and visitors, the public is not at risk. No other animals at the Zoo are showing any signs of infection.

    The health and safety of Smithsonian staff, animals and visitors is our number one priority. The Zoo’s existing COVID-19 protocols restrict behind-the-scenes access in all animal areas and require use of personal protective equipment, hygiene, cleaning, employee self-screening and health management. The Zoo’s COVID safety and response protocols are in place and being strictly followed.

    The Zoo has conducted a thorough investigation of all staff that were in close proximity to the lions and tigers. There is no evidence to pinpoint the source of the infection. While it is possible the infection was transmitted by an asymptomatic carrier, it has been standard practice for all animal care staff and essential staff to mask indoors in all public and non-public areas. The health and vaccination status of employees is confidential medical information.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has authorized the use of a SARS-COV-2 vaccine made specifically for zoo animals by Zoetis. The first round of vaccine disbursement will be administered to select animals identified as a susceptible species at both the Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia when it becomes available in the coming months.


    https://nationalzoo.si.edu/news/grea...s-national-zoo
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

  • #2
    Source: https://www.dvm360.com/view/smithson...e-for-covid-19


    Smithsonian’s National Zoo lions and tigers recover after testing presumptive positive for COVID-19
    October 21, 2021
    dvm360 Staff
    The zoo animals originally experienced decreased appetites, coughing, sneezing and lethargy.

    Six African lions, 1 Sumatran tiger, and 2 Amur tigers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo are reported to be recovering well several weeks after being diagnosed with a “presumptive positive” for COVID-19. Each of the big cats has appeared to resume their normal eating and behavior patterns.

    According to a news release,1 when the diagnosis was first announced, animal keepers had noted decreased appetites, coughing, sneezing, and lethargy in the lions and tigers. The observed animals were then treated with anti-inflammatories and anti-nausea medication to address discomfort and decreased appetite. Additionally, the big cats were treated with antibiotics for presumptive secondary bacterial pneumonia. Lions are among the most susceptible to the virus that causes COVID-19.1

    The zoo disclosed that the public was never at risk because of the significant distance between animals and visitors and even conducted an investigation to pinpoint the infection's source, but has not yet determined it...

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