Decidedly, the Covid-19 has not yet said its last word. Worse yet, the pandemic continues to wreak havoc, but this time among populations domestic and wild animals. Indeed, cases of contamination in cats, dogs and deer have recently been documented. Moreover, a more recent study has just revealed that 15 lions from two American zoos have tested positive for the disease.
Thus, eleven African lions in denver zoo and four at Zoo Hogle de l’Utah were affected by SARS-CoV-2. These big cats appear to be relatively resistant to infection. However, some of them have shown mild symptoms.
In particular, zoo staff have been alarmed by the fact that the animals coughed and sneezed in an unusual way. In addition, the infected lions exhibited a behavior lethargic.
Contamination by the delta variant of Covid-19
The lions were then tracked down by nasal swab. The veterinary diagnostic laboratory at Colorado State University in Fort Collins took care of the sample. The laboratories of the national veterinary services of the United States Department of Agriculture then confirmed that it is indeed the Covid-19, more precisely of the delta variant.
“Fortunately, the vast majority of them have made a full recovery, and the advantage is that we have a well-established knowledge base that we can draw on to treat our animals. “
Brian Aucone, the zoo’s first vice president of life sciences, said in a statement
The start of the Covid-19 epidemic in felines?
So far, none of the infected lions have been vaccinated. On the other hand, zoos plan to carry out their vaccination soon. There are indeed vaccines specially designed to immunize animals against Covid-19.
For now, Security customers and staff is the priority, it is in any case a point on which the two zoos meet. The animal centers still continue toexpose infected animals, “Because there are no known risks for the public”. Indeed, so far, no scientific evidence of the contamination of a human by a feline has been documented.
Zoos said they did not know the exact source of virus having contaminated these lions. In any case, of course, the infected lions were isolated from their herd. While trying to monitor the evolution of the epidemic, animal centers continue to apply the health protocols usual.