Singapore Zoo African Lion Tests Positive For Covid-19

Covid-19 doesn’t spare any creature, even if they are the ‘king of the jungle’.

On Wednesday (10 Nov), the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) confirmed that an African lion at the Singapore Zoo has tested positive for Covid-19.

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This is the 5th local lion to be infected, after the first 4 in the Night Safari got Covid-19.

Zookeepers have isolated all 5 lions within their respective dens.

Singapore Zoo lion displayed signs of illness on 8 Nov

On Monday (8 Nov), the African lion at the Singapore Zoo showed signs of illness, reported Channel NewsAsia (CNA).

The lion’s faecal sample later tested positive for the Sars-CoV-2 virus in a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

This comes a day after 4 Asiatic lions at the Night Safari tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday (9 Nov).

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

AVS previously issued an order under the Animals and Birds Act to Mandai Wildlife Group to isolate the 9 Asiatic lions and 5 African lions in 2 separate groups within Night Safari and the Singapore Zoo.

This is inclusive of the 5 infected lions. All of them are now isolated within their respective dens.

Infected lions being monitored closely

According to The Straits Times (ST), a Mandai Wildlife Group spokesperson shared that the unwell lions are bright, alert, and active as of now.

zoo lion covid-19For illustration purposes only
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Nonetheless, Mandai Wildlife Reserve has closed the exhibits while their lions rest.

They are expected to make a full recovery in due time and are being monitored very closely.

The lions are currently receiving vitamin C supplements. Thus far, there has been no need to administer other medications.

Cases likely to be independent of each other

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), there is no evidence that infected animals can spread the virus to humans.

But there had been “sporadic and isolated” reports of animals in other countries contracting Covid-19 after close contact with infected people.

The 4 Asiatic lions at the Night Safari tested positive after exposure to the virus from infected employees.

Mandai Wildlife Group said their keepers are recovering well. They did not elaborate on the number of cases found amongst staff.

The group continued that the cases were likely to have occurred independently of one another and are reflective of the infection in the wider society, reported ST.

Wish all the lions and staff a speedy recovery

The virus doesn’t discriminate, infecting not only humankind but also animals.

AVS will continue working with Mandai Wildlife Group to monitor the lions’ health closely. This includes testing their faecal material for Covid-19.

We wish all the lions and the staff at Mandai a speedy recovery ahead.

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Featured image adapted from Mandai Wildlife Reserves on Facebook.