Three snow leopards, tested positive for Covid-19 in the US, officials announced on Friday. Of the three, one of the animals belonged to the Kentucky zoo, while the other two belong to Louisville Zoo.
Snow leopards, are now the sixth animal species confirmed to have contracted the virus.
Officials took samples from the three large cats after they showed signs of respiratory illness, the Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories said in a statement.
All three showed mild symptoms and are being monitored closely, but are expected to make full recoveries, the Louisville Zoo said in a statement. No other animals were showing symptoms, the zoo authorities added.
The cats were likely infected by an asymptomatic staff member, despite precautions that included caretakers wearing personal protective equipment, officials said.
The zoo said the risk of infected animals spreading the virus to humans is considered to be low and the zoo remains open, though the snow leopard exhibit is closed while the cats recover.
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