Their caretakers last month spotted “mild respiratory symptoms” in the three 16-year-old females and the 4-year-old male, the zoo described in a statement released Monday.
Treated according to a clinical protocol “similar to that of influenza”, with anti-inflammatory treatment and close monitoring, “the animals responded positively” and got back on their feet, he adds.
The zoo of the Catalan metropolis then got in touch with “international experts such as the veterinary service of the Bronx Zoo in New York (United States), the only one to have documented cases of Sars-CoV infection -2 (virus causing Covid-19 disease) on felines, “he says.
“The lions never showed any difficulty in breathing or other signs, and all symptoms disappeared after 15 days, apart from the cough and sneezing,” explains the Catalan zoo.
To avoid a possible risk of infection, specific measures have been put in place for staff caring for these lions: FFP3 mask, Plexiglas plates, caregivers lowered by harness and wearing slippers.
At the beginning of April, a tiger from the famous Bronx Zoo in New York had tested positive for Covid-19, a disease that the feline would have contracted from a keeper not showing any symptoms. Cats, minks, dogs … Several cases of animals infected with the new coronavirus have been identified across the planet since the start of the epidemic.
The mink is the only animal known to date which can in a proven way recontaminate the human being after having been infected. The mass slaughter of this small mammal bred for its fur has been ordered in several countries, in particular in Denmark where more than 10 million mink have already been euthanized, according to the latest report.