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Big cats at National Zoo test positive for COVID

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 2:15 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2021 at 2:16 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray News) - All the lions and tigers at the National Zoo have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

The big cats – six African lions, a Sumatran tiger and two Amur tigers – are being treated with medication and are under close observation, according to the zoo’s website.

Animal keepers became suspicious last weekend when they observed decreased appetites, coughing, sneezing and lethargy in several of the animals.

The zoo investigated but hasn’t been able to pinpoint the source of the infection.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has authorized the use of a vaccine made specifically for zoo animals. The first round of inoculations for susceptible species will be made available in the coming months.

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