3 lions test positive for COVID-19 at Audubon Zoo

Louisiana

Audubon Zoo male lion cubs, Haji and Asani, celebrate their first birthday.
January 11, 2021
Audubon Zoo

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The Audubon Zoo reported that three of its African lions tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, on Tuesday. Last week, the zoo’s animal care staff observed the lions coughing and suffering from nasal discharge.

Nasal and fecal samples for three symptomatic lions were collected and tested at the Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (LADDL) in Baton Rouge, confirming COVID-19 in lions Asani, Arnold, and Kali.

All lions continue to have a normal appetite and appear to be doing well.

“As with all of the Zoo’s animals, Arnold, Kali, and Asani continue to receive excellent care,” said Audubon’s Senior Veterinarian Bob MacLean. “Audubon’s veterinary and husbandry teams are skilled and dedicated professionals who work tirelessly to ensure the well-being of the animals in our care.” 

MacLean added, “Guests should feel confident in knowing that they are not at risk from animals when visiting the Zoo.”  

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