- Title: Lions, tigers recovering after COVID infection at the National Zoo
- Date: 17th September 2021
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., USA (SEPTEMBER 17, 2021) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. DON NEIFFER, NATIONAL ZOO CHIEF VETERINARIAN, SAYING: "It's our entire lion and tiger collection, so this virus transferred quite rapidly when the first cat contracted it, to everybody else."
- Embargoed: 1st October 2021 21:11
- Keywords: big cats cats covid lions tigers zoo
- Location: WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES
- Country: US
- Topics: Health/Medicine,United States
- Reuters ID: LVA002EV3Z8EF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Big cats at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C. are on the mend after all of them caught COVID last week.
The Zoo's chief veterinarian explained lions and tigers probably got COVID from an asymptomatic zookeeper, and it spread to the whole big cat population, all nine of them.
They noticed the big cats were sick because, already known for being relatively lazy, the lions and tigers were barely getting up to move and not really eating well. After testing the cats and getting them on different COVID treatments for the symptoms, the cats are now coming back around and should be fine soon.
"We are seeing an overall trend moving upwards. Based on how they're behaving today (September 17) the majority of them are eating more, moving around more. There's less discharge and coughing. I would hope that there's some significant improvement seen in these guys by Monday of next week," said Dr. Donald Neiffer, the chief veterinarian.
As to the risk of a visitor catching COVID from a lion or tiger at the zoo, Dr. Neiffer said there is plenty of social distancing with the walls and water-filled moats in place.
(Production: Julio-Cesar Chavez)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None