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Lions at the Akron Zoo test positive for COVID-19

(Source: Akron Zoo)
(Source: Akron Zoo)((Source: Akron Zoo))
Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 9:42 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2021 at 9:57 AM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - The five African lions at the Akron Zoo have all tested positive for COVID-19 and are being treated for their symptoms, said zoo officials.

The Akron Zoo has two male lions and three females.

Akron Zoo officials said the lions will remain in their habitat in the Pride of Africa area and do not pose a transmission threat to zoo visitors.

According to zoo officials, they believe the lions contracted COVID-19 from a zoo staff member.

After the lion care team noticed a few of the lions coughing, sneezing and having a decreased appetite, they collected fecal samples and sent them to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Reynoldsburg, OH for COVID-19 testing.

The positive samples are now being sent to a National Veterinary Lab for further testing.

Zoo officials also tested fecal samples from all their big cats; including, the Sumatran tigers, snow leopards and jaguar.

All of those samples tested negative.

The Zoetis COVID-19 investigational vaccine developed for animals has recently arrived at the Akron Zoo and officials said plans are underway to vaccinate susceptible animals.

Officials added the lions will be vaccinated, when they recover.

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