A zoo in Nebraska, United States announced on Nov. 12 evening that three snow leopards died of complications from COVID-19.
Lincoln Children’s Zoo announced on Facebook that the “beloved” leopards — Ranney, Everest, and Makalu — passed away despite efforts from staff to restore their health after testing positive for the virus in October.
“This loss is truly heartbreaking, and we are all grieving together,” zoo officials said.
The zoo also said that two Sumatran tigers — Axl and Kumar — also tested positive for the virus last month and have now “seemingly” recovered.
Last Oct. 13, the zoo said in a statement that the leopards and tigers were being treated with steroids and antibiotics to prevent a secondary infection and that no other animals showed any signs of infection.
Zoo officials also conducted an investigation of all staff who were close to the infected animals.
All staff members at the care section were required to wear masks indoors, the zoo said.
Zoo officials said in the latest statement that the zoo will remain open to the public while continuing to take precaution to prevent the spread of the virus to humans and animals.
“We will continue following the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians and [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] to ensure the safety of our animals, staff, and community,” the zoo said.
The leopards’ deaths came after zoos across the U.S. reported COVID-19 infections among animals.
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