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Lions at zoos in Colorado, Utah test positive for COVID-19

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Posted at 5:29 PM, Oct 26, 2021

There appears to be a COVID-19 outbreak at zoos in Colorado and Utah.

The Denver Zoo announced 11 African lions, ranging in age from 1 to 9, tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

The zoo said they were tested after keepers observed the animals coughing, sneezing, shows signs of lethargy and nasal discharge.

The lions' symptoms are described as "relatively mild at this point."

“There have been a number of big cats to come down with COVID-19 at zoos throughout the country, including our two tigers, Yuri and Nikita,” said Brian Aucone, Senior Vice President for Life Sciences for the Zoo. “Fortunately, the vast majority have fully recovered, and the upside is that there’s an established knowledge base for us to draw from to help treat our animals. We’ve been in touch with other zoos that have also recently managed COVID cases in their big cats to inform the care we’re providing.”

Four lions at Salt Lake City's Hogle Zoo also tested positive for COVID-19, Scripps station KSTU reported.

“The lions continue to do well and are only showing mild signs. We remain hopeful the infection will resolve and they will recover naturally on their own” said Bob Cisneros, associate director of Animal Care.

The zoo said the lions will remain on exhibit because there is no risk to the public