4 African lions at Hogle Zoo in Utah test positive for COVID-19 Delta Variant

SALT LAKE CITY – Four African lions at Hogle Zoo in Utah tested positive for the COVID-19 delta variant, according to zoo officials.

Zoo officials aren’t sure how the lions got infected. However, they were tested after showing symptoms of sneezing and coughing.

Dr. Erika Crook, an assistant veterinarian at Hogle Zoo in Utah, said she and her assistant took a nasal swab sample from the four African lions. The samples were sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory and all came back with positive results.

“This is the first time we have submitted diagnostic samples of any kind for COVID-19 throughout the pandemic,” said Crook.

Crook says Lions are not used to taking a sample from their noses.

“Lions have never done anything like this,” she said. “But they were very, I won’t say, willingly, but they definitely took it and they got a reward for the meal.”

Crook says the lions appeared to be more cooperative with the nasal swab than some of their own family members.

“My own daughters have been wiped out for COVID-19, luckily always negative,” she said. “But I have a feeling that the lions may have been more willing than my daughters.”

Despite the positive test, Crook isn’t concerned that the lions are spreading the disease.

“I’m not really concerned about our guests coming to Hogle Zoo,” she said. “I encourage them to come to the Hogle Zoo. The lion enclosure is designed so that most of the view is behind glass. And there is a network in the areas that are not made of glass. But the public is quite a long way from the lions, so I don’t think the risk of transmission from one to the other is great. “

Crook says there is a vaccine for animals. She says it’s formulated for animals, so it’s different from the vaccine that is used for humans.

“We are discussing the pros and cons of vaccinating our collection,” she said.

Continue reading

Comments are closed.