Two lions at Zagreb Zoo have tested positive for coronavirus. These are the first two cases in zoos across the country, Croatia’s agriculture ministry said on Wednesday. The two felines were tested because of the “appearance of clinical signs of the disease,” read a statement.

The lions, treated with medication, were infected by their keeper who also tested positive for coronavirus, zoo director Damir Skok told local press. “The zookeeper is fine, as are Leo and Ayana,” the two beasts, he said. The latter “sneeze and cough from time to time,” added Damir Skok.

An animal vaccination campaign in the United States

He explained that visitors were not at risk of being contaminated because the lions are behind a glass barrier. The other animals that the same caretaker took care of were also tested, but they did not contract the virus.

In September, several animals, including lions, tigers and gorillas, had tested positive for the coronavirus in zoos in the United States, where an animal vaccination campaign against Covid-19 was launched.

Croatia, whose population vaccination rate is one of the lowest in the European Union, is experiencing a resurgence of contaminations. In this country of 4.2 million inhabitants, more than 10,000 people have died from Covid-19 since the start of the epidemic.


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