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At Lousville Zoo in Kentucky, 3 Big Cats Test Positive for COVID

Picture via ‘Science’

by Jenn Gidman

Three snow leopards in a Kentucky zoo have come down with COVID-19, making it the latest type of animal to get sick after coming into close contact with humans.

Per a filmed statement from Louisville Zoo Director John Walczak and a written statement from the zoo, zoo staff noticed within the past two weeks that female leopard NeeCee and male leopards Kimti and Meru were exhibiting respiratory issues, including occasional wheezing and dry coughs.

Samples were immediately sent out for testing, and all three came back positive for the coronavirus. CNN notes that, with the snow leopards, this makes at least six animal species that have come down with the illness. Others include tigers and lions at New York City’s Bronx Zoo, a handful of dogs and cats, and minks in Denmark.

Walczak says the cats’ symptoms are “very mild.” So how did the leopards contract the virus in the first place? The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service speculates that, “despite precautions taken by the zoo,” it was from a staff member who was infected but not showing symptoms, per CNN.

The good news is that all three leopards are expected to recover, Walczak notes, adding that no other animals at the zoo are showing symptoms of the virus. Although it doesn’t seem likely that the virus can be transmitted back from the big cats to humans, all three leopards have been taken off exhibit until they recover, the zoo says. (Read more leopard  stories.)

Edited via Newser.

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Posted by on December 12, 2020. Filed under Coronavirus,PETS—POLITICS—NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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Bill Formby
Bill Formby
1 year ago

I have been leary of animals catching these weird diseases ever since I watched “Zoo” on TV. If the animals ever do get smart and get tired of us pushing them around my money will be on the animals.

1 year ago

Aww, they cannot even say what hurts. I have a list of people I want to die of COVID related issues.

Glenn Geist
1 year ago

Good to know – the next time I’m in the tiger cage I’ll be sure to wear a mask. 😉