Medical Technology

Three Snow Leopards die from COVID complications at Nebraska Zoo

Three snow leopards were killed by COVID-19 complications at Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Nebraska.

The mountain cats — named Everest Makalu, Everest and Ranney — tested positive for coronavirus in mid-October. to The New York Times .

The staff said that the snow leopards were “beloved” by everyone in and outside the zoo in the statement posted on Friday evening on the zoo’s Facebook page.

“This loss is truly heartbreaking, and we are all grieving with one another,” they wrote.

Two of the zoo’s Sumatran tigers -Axl and Kumar Axl and Kumar have also been were positive in October and have made a “seemingly full recovery” according to the statement.

Zoo staff noticed that the snow leopards and tigers had respiratory symptoms similar to the coronavirus seen in felines. They collected nasal swabs and fecal samples that tested positive for the virus.

The zoo then treated the snow leopards and tigers using antibiotics and steroids to prevent secondary infections, The New York Times reported.

Staff didn’t say whether the animals were vaccine-free. The newspaper reported that animals at some American zoos were given an experimental COVID-19 vaccination from Zoetis which is a pharmaceutical company for veterinary use.

COVID-19 has infected different types of animals from zoos across the U.S. This week, the Denver Zoo reported the first confirmed cases among two spotted hyenas, which have been showing minimal symptoms thus far. Zoo officials also confirmed positive tests for 11 lions, two tigers and one leopard. They have “either fully recovered (or are nearing recovery),” zoo officials told the newspaper..

Other recent incidents have included tigers in Omaha, NE; lions in Honolulu and lions, snow leopards, jaguars, and one Tiger in St. Louis, the newspaper published.

The first tiger that tested positive for COVID-19 was earlier in the pandemic. It was discovered at the Bronx Zoo, New York City. COVID-19 was also discovered in tigers and Lions at the National Zoo, Washington, DC as well as in the tigers that were vaccinated at Zoo Atlanta and San Diego Zoo.


The New York Times: “Three ‘beloved’ snow leopards passed away due to Covid complications at the Nebraska zoo,” “Two spotted hyenas at the Denver Zoo are the first known to have Covid-19.”

Facebook: Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Nov. 12, 2021.

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