At least four lions at a Singapore wildlife park have tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after coming into contact with infected zookeepers, and have symptoms including coughing and sneezing, officials said Wednesday.
The Asiatic lions started displaying signs of illness at the weekend, prompting officials to order coronavirus tests.
The infected big cats along with five others at the Night Safari Park have been placed in isolation in their den, the government’s animal and veterinary service said.
“All the lions remain bright, alert, and active. We expect that the lions will make a full recovery with minor supportive treatment,” Sonja Luz, from Mandai Wildlife Group told newsmen.
Three zookeepers from the Night Safari are confirmed to have been infected. The park is an open-air zoo home to hundreds of animals, which welcomes visitors at night.
An African lion at Singapore Zoo, adjacent to the Night Safari has also fallen sick, and officials have ordered virus tests.
Luz added the risk of animals passing the virus to humans is low.
Animals have become infected with the virus on previous occasions. Lions, tigers and gorillas have tested positive at US zoos, while domestic cats and dogs have also been hit.
Singapore is currently facing its worst COVID-19 outbreak since the start of the pandemic, reporting 2,000 to 3,000 cases daily and a handful of deaths.