Officials said two lions in a Croatian zoo caught COVID-19 from the keeper.

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Officials said two lions in a Croatian zoo caught COVID-19 from the keeper.

COVID-19 was found in two lions at the Zagreb Zoo in Croatia. Officials stated Wednesday that they contracted the virus from a zookeeper.

The lions, Leo and Ayana, were tested for COVID-19 using nose swabs and stool samples after showing clinical indicators of the disease, according to a statement from the Agriculture Ministry. They contracted the sickness after being exposed to a keeper who had tested positive for the ailment, according to Damir Skok, the zoo’s director.

“This is the first confirmation of the disease in any type of animal in a zoo in the Republic of Croatia since the outbreak began,” according to the statement.

The instances have now been added to a growing list of animals from a variety of species that have tested positive for COVID-19 during the epidemic. Three snow leopards at Lincoln Children’s Zoo, for example, died of the virus earlier this month.

Skok told local media that Leo and Ayana are undergoing medical treatment and are “well,” despite the fact that they “sneeze and cough occasionally.”

COVID-19 was also tested on other animals that the zookeeper may have come into touch with, according to AFP News, with the results anticipated “soon.”

Skok further stated that the zoo’s visitors were not exposed to the lions’ illness because they were separated by a glass fence.

There is no indication that pets “have a substantial role” in the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, among people, according to the government. As a result, the risk of transmission is “very minimal.” “Although SARS-CoV-2 has been found in various animal species, these infections are not the driving force behind the current COVID-19 pandemic, which is human-to-human transmission,” the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) stated.

Animals can get the virus from humans through intimate contact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is why persons who have COVID-19, whether suspected or proven, should avoid all animal contact.

When people come into contact with groups of animals, such as on farms, at zoos, or at animal shelters, proper and effective biosecurity measures should always be used, according to the OIE. “People who are suspected or confirmed COVID-19 virus infected should avoid close contact with animals, including farm, zoo, and other captive animals, as well as wildlife.”

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