Earlier this week, Mandai Wildlife Reserve (MWR) shared that 5 of its lions had tested positive for Covid-19.
Since then, there have been a number of interesting questions floating on social media, 1 in particular, has to do with how the lions were swabbed and if anyone was hurt in the process.
On Thursday (11 Nov), MWR posted a video on Facebook addressing the popular question and provided an update on how the lions are doing.
Turns out, some of the lions were initially swabbed while under anaesthesia. MWR has since pivoted to testing the lions through their faecal matter.
In the Q&A-style video, MWR said 2 lions were initially anaesthetised before nasal and throat swabs were carried out.
Folks at the zoo have since moved on to testing the large cats through their faeces.
They also joked that these were done “very carefully”.
In response to queries on whether the animals are vaccinated, MWR said they’re taking on a cautious approach as vaccinations are different between humans and animals.
Having said that, MWR has reached out to their global zoo counterparts which have started to trial vaccinations for their high-profile animals.
Despite coming down with the virus, MWR assured the public that the lions are looking bright and alert during their SHN.
They are also resting in their dens away from the public and are being monitored by keepers and veterinarians.
To ensure a speedy recovery, the lions are fed vitamins and supplements to boost their diets.
The lion keepers are also recovering well and the affected areas have been deep cleaned and disinfected.
Meanwhile, other keepers at work are taking extra steps such as routine ART, wearing masks and gloves, as well as practising safe distancing and good hygiene.
MWR also shared that no other animals are exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19.
The infection has reportedly been contained within the 2 lion prides housed separately at Singapore Zoo and Night Safari.
Both Singapore Zoo and Night Safari remain safe for visitors as there is no evidence of animals spreading the virus to humans.
Though the lion exhibits are closed, visitors can still look forward to meeting countless other animals during their visit.
On Tuesday (9 Nov), 4 out of 9 Asiatic Lions at the Night Safari tested positive for Covid-19.
It was later discovered that another African Lions at the Singapore Zoo also had Covid-19.
3 keepers from the Night Safari have also tested positive for the coronavirus.
After the news broke out, there have been many burning questions from the public about the situation.
1 popular question pertains to how the lions were tested, which presumably prompted MWR to post the video addressing these queries.
Though it is unfortunate that our lions tested positive for Covid-19, we’re glad that they are being well taken care of.
We’re also heartened that precautionary measures were taken and that nobody suffered the lions’ wrath while carrying out the swab tests.
We hope both our lions and their keepers will have a speedy recovery ahead!
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Featured image adapted from Mandai Night Safari.
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