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Big cats test positive for COVID at Lincoln Children's Zoo

Big cats test positive for COVID at Lincoln Children's Zoo

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Atlanta's zoo says at least 18 western lowland gorillas have tested positive for COVID-19, including 60-year-old Ozzie, the oldest male gorilla in captivity.

The snow leopards and Sumatran tigers at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo have tested positive for COVID-19, the zoo announced Wednesday.

Lincoln Children's Zoo tigers

The Lincoln Children's Zoo announced Wednesday that Sumatran tigers, pictured, and snow leopards at the zoo have tested positive for COVID-19.

Over the weekend, zookeepers noticed the animals exhibiting symptoms consistent with the virus, spokeswoman Sarah Wood said in a release.

They collected fecal samples and nasal swabs, she said, and some tested positive.

The zoo is treating the animals with steroids and antibiotics to prevent secondary infection and is following treatment plans that were successful at other zoos.

The zoo hasn’t determined how the animals were infected, pointing out that all of its animal care staff are required to wear masks in its indoor areas.

The cats are expected to recover, she said, and no other animals at the zoo are showing signs of infection.

And it doesn’t believe the public was at risk, because of the distance between the animals and visitors.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7254 or On Twitter @LJSPeterSalter

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