Gorillas and lions with Covid-19 symptoms in a Dutch zoo
Several gorillas and lions tested positive for Covid-19 in a zoo in the Netherlands and show flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite and a slight cough. In a statement, the Blijdorp Zoo explained that the animals “are in good condition and pose no health risk” and the “disease is expected to be mild”.
Based on other cases, such as in the United States, the condition of the animal before being infected is important for the treatment of the disease. The animals appear more immobile, with less appetite, with a slight cough and some have stomach and intestinal problems.
The Rotterdam Municipal Zoo also ensured that “there was no risk to visitors” and stressed that, under normal conditions, there is no direct contact between the public and those species. The places where the gorillas and lions are installed are immediately closed to first symptoms and suspicions of Covid-19 and, therefore, “the animals are quarantined” and temporarily not visited by the public, so that they can rest and recover.
The institute’s caretakers and veterinarians are closely monitoring the health of these animals, taking medications as often as needed. It is still unclear how these animals were infected with the new coronavirus, even if it is suspected that the cause may have been an asymptomatic worker. Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the caretakers have followed a special protocol with protective measures that includeuse of masksgloves, a distance of 1.5 meters, additional hygiene care and tests.
These are the first cases of animals tested positive for Covid-19 in this zoo.