ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Eight large cats at the St. Louis Zoo have recently tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The animals are two African lions, two snow leopards, two jaguars, an Amura tiger and a Puma. They are all carefully monitored and expected to make a full recovery. The spread of the virus is isolated to Big Cat Country and no other animals show any signs of infection, according to the zoo. The cats showed no signs of illness, but some did have a decreased appetite and were less active for short periods of time.
All infected animals received a two-dose series of the animal-specific SARS-CoV-2 vaccine between September 30 and October 26. The Zoo believes the animals were exposed before the second dose.
“The vaccine, even partial immunization, has probably helped our cats be able to make a stronger immune response, and show fewer signs of disease in a shorter time than they would have if not previously vaccinated,” said Dr. Sathya Chinnadurai, DVM. , MS, Dipl. ACZM, Dipl. ACVAA, Dipl. ACAW, Director of Animal Health, Saint Louis Zoo.
The Zoo requires that all employees be vaccinated and disguised while indoors anywhere in the Zoo as well as when around potentially endangered animals.
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