Lions and tigers at National Zoo being treated for COVID-19

Animal keepers at the zoo say they observed decreased appetites, coughing, sneezing, and lethargy in several lions and tigers last weekend.

Updated: September 17, 2021 - 7:45pm

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Nine big cats at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C. are being treated for COVID-19 after testing positive for the virus, according to reports.

According to zoo officials, six African lions, two Amur tigers, and a Sumatran tiger fell ill earlier this week.

Animal keepers at the zoo say they observed decreased appetites, coughing, sneezing, and lethargy in several lions and tigers last weekend. After running a fecal test on the large cats, it was confirmed they had contracted the virus.

“The tigers are less affected than the lions, showing fewer symptoms. The varying degrees of symptoms have us watching all of the animals very carefully,” a zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson told WTOP. ”We’re being as positive as possible.”

The nine animals are being treated with anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea medication, along with an antibiotic to prevent pneumonia.

The rest of the animals at the zoo are expected to be given the Zoetis covid vaccine, which is made specifically for animals.

All of the large cats are expected to recover.

 

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