All of the lions and tigers at the National Zoo in Washington DC have caught COVID-19
Results through fecal samples led to the initial positive tests, the zoo said on Friday
Six African lions, a Sumatran tiger, and two Amur tigers were included in the results.
All the tigers and lions at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington DC have tested positive for COVID-19, the zoo announced on Friday.
Initial results through fecal samples led to the initial positive tests, though final results are expected in a few days, the zoo said.
“The Zoo has conducted a thorough investigation of all staff that were in close proximity to the lions and tigers,” the zoo said in a statement. “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.”
Six African lions, a Sumatran tiger, and two Amur tigers were included in the results, DCist reported on Friday. Last weekend, zookeepers noticed multiple animals were showing decreased appetites, and were coughing and sneezing.
No other animals at the zoo have tested positive at this time, the report said, and there is an investigation into staffers who were in close contact with the animals.
The US Department of Agriculture authorized a COVID-19 vaccine made for zoo animals by Zoetis, which should be available to select animals in the coming months, the zoo said.
Face coverings are required in all indoor areas of the zoo, and certain parts are closed out of COVID-19 pre cation, DCist said.