Four lions at Barcelona Zoo in Spain have tested positive for coronavirus after displaying mild symptoms.
Vets carried out a standard PCR swab test on three females, Zala, Nima and Run Run, and one male, Kiumbe, when they noticed them showing upper respiratory symptoms including coughing and sneezing.
The zoo has launched an investigation to determine how the animals became infected with the virus, though it is thought they may have been in contact with an asymptomatic member of staff.
Two staff members have also tested positive for the virus.
The four lions are used to being in close contact with humans, which allowed the vets to carry out the PCR swab test – the same test used on humans.
After testing positive, vets administered anti-inflammatory drugs and continue to closely monitor the animals. Most of their symptoms, aside from mild coughing and sneezing, are said to have subsided.
A statement from the zoo, cited by the BBC, explained:
The lions were given veterinary care for their mild clinical condition – similar to a very mild flu condition – and [they] responded well.
It is unlikely anyone visiting the zoo would be at risk of contracting the virus because the zoo explained that ‘simply, no one who comes to see [the lions] gets close enough’.
The four lions mark only the second known case in which large felines have contracted the widespread virus, after the first case was reported at the Bronx Zoo in the US, where four tigers and three lions tested positive in April.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Topics: Animals, Coronavirus, COVID-19, lions, Now