New Delhi (NVI): Four lions at Barcelona Zoo have tested positive for coronavirus, in the latest case of large cats catching the virus during the pandemic.
Three females, called Zala, Nima and Run Run, and a male named Kiumbe, were given Covid tests after a zookeeper noticed they were displaying symptoms which were similar to the signs of coronavirus.
Two staff members also tested positive for the virus, the zoo said.
An investigation is under way to establish how the animals became infected, but it is thought they may have been in contact with an asymptomatic member of staff.
Zookeepers reportedly carried out a standard PCR swab test on the four lions – the same method used on humans – because they are comfortable having close contact with staff.
Reportedly, the four-year-old male and the females, who are all 16 years old, have had no contact with other animals at the zoo, which is open to visitors.
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.