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4 lions test positive for COVID-19 at Barcelona Zoo

Zoo-New Lion Exhibit
Posted at 3:12 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 18:09:50-05

Four lions at the Barcelona Zoo tested positive for coronavirus, according to veterinary officials. This is the second report of large felines contracting the disease at a zoo.

Barcelona Zoo in Spain says two staff members also tested positive for COVID-19 during the outbreak last month, in addition to four of their lions, according to the BBC: Zala, Nima, Run Run, who are all females, and one male, Kiumbe.

A statement from the zoo said the animals had been showing upper respiratory symptoms, and were given a coronavirus test.

“The Zoo has worked 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,” a statement from the zoo reads.

In April, four tigers and three lions tested positive for COVID-19 at the Bronx Zoo.

"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,” a statement from Barcelona Zoo reads.

The zoo reports most symptoms have improved in the lions, other than some minor coughing and sneezing.

An investigation is underway to determine how the lions became infected in Barcelona, according to the BBC they may have been in contact with an asymptomatic staff member.