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Big cats and Covid-19

Children’s Zoo Lincoln

Everest, Makalu, and Ranney, three snow leopards (Panthera uncia, below) at Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Nebraska, USA, all died from complications associated with COVID-19 in November. The three cats, which are one of the zoo’s star attractions, tested positive for the SARS-Cov-2 virus a month earlier. Two Sumatran tigers from the same zoo were also infected, but are said to be doing well (The Washington Post, November 14). Dozens of zoo animals across the USA have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the pandemic began. In November, the Denver Zoo in Colorado reported the first two cases of COVID-19 in hyenas. Before the deaths of the snow leopards, a lion had previously died in India and two tiger cubs in Pakistan.