Two hyenas at the Denver Zoo have tested positive for the coronavirus, the first confirmed case among animals worldwide, a National Veterinary Laboratory announced Friday.
According to the National Veterinary Service laboratories, samples of various animals, including the spotted hyena, were tested at the zoo after several lions fell ill. The hyena samples tested positive at a laboratory at Colorado State University, and the cases were confirmed by the national laboratory.
Besides two hyenas, 11 lions and two tigers at the zoo tested positive for the virus.
“Hyenas are famously tough, resilient animals that are known to be highly tolerant of anthrax, rabies and distemper. They are otherwise healthy and are expected to make a full recovery,” the zoo said in a statement.
Zoo officials said the hyenas – 22-year-old Ngozi and 23-year-old Kibo – are experiencing mild symptoms, including mild lethargy, some nasal discharge and the occasional cough.
Other animals that have tested positive in recent weeks have either made a full recovery or are on their way to a full recovery.
“We now know that many other species may be susceptible to COVID-19 based on multiple reports, and we are taking the highest level of care and care when working with all of our 3,000 animals and 450 different species,” the statement said. Take precautions.”
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, which oversees the NVSL, infections have been reported in several species around the world, mostly in animals that had close contact with a person with COVID-19. A news release on Friday said scientists are still learning about coronavirus infection in animals, but based on available information, the risk of the virus spreading from animals to people is low.
According to the news release, people with COVID-19 should avoid close contact with animals, including pets, to protect against possible infection.
NVSL serves as an international reference laboratory, providing guidance on diagnostic techniques as well as testing for exotic and emerging animal diseases.