Four lions at Barcelona Zoo have tested positive for Covid-19, veterinary authorities said on Tuesday. It is believed to be only the second known case in which large felines have contracted coronavirus. Three females named Zala, Nima and Run Run and Kiumbe, a male were tested after keepers noticed they were showing mild symptoms. Two staff at the zoo also tested positive for the virus after the outbreak was first detected last month.
Authorities are investigating how the lions became infected. Keepers carried out PCR tests on the lions in the same way as humans are tested as the animals are accustomed to contact with the zoo staff. The Veterinary Service of Barcelona contacted colleagues at the Bronx Zoo in New York, where four tigers and three lions tested positive for Covid-19 in April. It is the only other zoo where large felines are known to have contracted coronavirus. All recovered.
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