Night Safari Lions Test Positive For Covid-19 After PCR Tests, AVS Will Monitor Their Health

4 Night Safari Lions Test Positive For Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has made its mark on mankind, but stories of the virus affecting animals have surfaced in Hong Kong – like this case of a possible infection of a dog.

Closer to home, 4 lions have tested positive for Covid-19 in Singapore. They are currently housed at our Night Safari in Mandai, confirmed the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) on Tuesday (9 Nov).

Image is for illustration purposes only

Here’s what we know of the case so far.

Lions caught Covid-19 virus after exposure to infected staff

On Tuesday (9 Nov), AVS announced that 4 lions residing in Singapore’s Night Safari had tested positive for Covid-19.

The species of lions are Asiatic lions, and they had each undergone a PCR test, subsequently testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, reported CNA.

Image is for illustration purposes only

It’s believed that the lions had caught the virus after being exposed to staff from Mandai Wildlife Group who were Covid-19 positive.

14 lions kept in isolation in their dens

In total, 14 lions will be housed in their “respective dens” in isolation. Their breeds are as follows:

  • 5 African lions
  • 9 Asiatic lions

Further testing will be conducted for animals who show “signs of sickness”, including 4 Asiatic lions & 1 African lion that “displayed symptoms”, reported The Straits Times.

Asiatic lions have gotten Covid-19 in India before

For context, this isn’t the first time Asiatic lions have tested positive for Covid-19.

Back in May 2021, it was reported that 8 lions of this particular breed were “exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms” in Hyderabad’s Nehru Zoological Park, according to DNAIndia.

In Jun 2021, an 11-year-old Sri Lankan lion named Thor also tested positive for Covid-19 and its country sought help from India’s authorities for treatment.

To conduct a PCR test, staff used “bait coated with cotton wool” to lure Thor to bite it. Following which, they collected the “saliva-soaked” wool samples for analysis in the lab, reported MongaBay.

We wish the staff & lions a swift recovery

AVS and Mandai Wildlife Group will continue to monitor the situation involving their staff and animals to curb the spread of the virus.

We wish the staff and animal residents over at the Night Safari a swift recovery and hope that the situation will remain under control.

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