Lions Zala, Nima, Run Run, Kiumbe test positive for COVID-19 in Spain

Lion sitting in stone looking to the left
Lion at zoo, photo: Sameer Mohsin on Unsplash

Three 16-year-old female lions named Zala, Nima and Run Run and Kiumbe, a four-year-old male lion, tested positive for COVID-19 at Barcelona Zoo in Spain, veterinary authorities said on Tuesday.

The lions were tested after staff at the zoo noticed they showed symptoms of the virus. Two staff at the Spanish zoo also tested positive for coronavirus, the authorities said.

It’s the second known case in which large felines have gotten coronavirus. In April, four tigers and three lions tested positive for COVID-19 at the Bronx zoo in New York. They all recovered.

“The zoo has contacted and collaborated with international experts such as the Veterinary Service of the Bronx Zoo, the only one that has documented cases of Sars-CoV-2 infection in felines,” Barcelona Zoo said in a statement.

“The lions were given veterinary care for their mild clinical condition, similar to a very mild flu condition, through anti-inflammatory treatment and close monitoring, and the animals responded well,” the zoo said.

The lions have had no contact with other animals at the zoo, which is open to visitors. Authorities are investigating how the lions became infected.

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