Big cats at Lincoln Children’s Zoo contract COVID-19

October 13, 2021 GMT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Officials at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo announced Wednesday that five big cats at the zoo are being treated for COVID-19.

Two Sumatran tigers and three snow leopards were tested after they began showing signs of the virus during the weekend, spokeswoman Sarah Wood said in a release.

Wood said zoo officials don’t believe the public was at risk because of the distance between the animals and zoo visitors.

The cats are the first animals at the zoo to test positive for the virus, she said. They are expected to recover after being treated with steroids and antibiotics to prevent secondary infection.

The zoo is also following treatment plans that were successful at other zoos, The Lincoln Journal Star reported.


The zoo hasn’t determined how the animals were infected. It investigated all staff who were close to the animals, Wood said. All the zoo’s animal care staff are required to wear masks in indoor areas.

No other animals at the zoo are showing signs of infection.

Zoo employees will determine when the animals will return to outdoor areas based on their health, she said.