Three vulnerable snow leopards die of COVID-19 in a zoo


On Friday, the Lincoln Children’s Zoo announced the sad demise of three of their beloved members— Everest, Makalu and Ranney. These three snow leopards at the Nebraska zoo died due to complications arising from COVID-19. They had tested positive for the coronavirus approximately four weeks ago.

The majestic animals from the mountains brought a lot of joy and cheer to the dwellers on the plains. They were described as as silly, bubbly and handsome. Visitors were regaled by their antics for years and they were one of the most popular attractions of the zoo. They were friendly and used to play with pumpkins on Halloween and pose for pictures according to a report by the Washington Post.

In a Facebook post on Friday evening the zoo said that the mountain cats “were beloved by our entire community inside and outside of the zoo.” The post also called the loss “truly heartbreaking” and said that were “grieving together.”

On October 13, the zoo had released a statement that said that the snow leopards as well as Sumatran tigers had tested positive for COVID-19. It also said that the animals were being treated “with steroids and antibiotics to prevent secondary infection.” The statement did not mention the vaccine status of the animals.

Although the snow leopards succumbed to the infection, the Sumatran tigers—Axl and Kumar “made a seemingly full recovery.” The zoo is open. Authorities said that they are following all the necessities COVID-19 protocols for animals and humans.

In summer, a veterinary pharmaceutical company developed an experimental COVID-19 vaccine for animals. It was provided to several zoos, after several cases of coronavirus surfaced in many zoos across the nation. A few animal deaths have been seen in other countries around the world as well.

After the death of its beloved members the zoo published a statement that said that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines were followed. It also noted that guidelines set by the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians were also followed to protect its community of both both animals and humans.

Source Washington Post, The New York Times, The Hill

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