Coronavirus: Singapore

Five lions with Covid-19 recovering, their carers on the mend too

The five lions that tested positive for Covid-19 last week are recovering well, and their carers are also on the mend, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung yesterday.

The zookeepers had only mild symptoms, while the lions at the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari have been recovering in their dens away from the public.

Mr Ong said in a Facebook post that the lions at the Night Safari are bright and alert.

Their diets have been boosted with vitamins and supplements and they have been eating well, the minister added.

Last week, four Asiatic lions at the Night Safari and an African lion at the Singapore Zoo tested positive for the coronavirus following exposure to infected staff from Mandai Wildlife Group.

The five lions had exhibited mild signs of sickness including coughing, sneezing and lethargy, the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) said last week.

AVS subsequently issued an order under the Animals and Birds Act to Mandai Wildlife Group to isolate all nine Asiatic lions and five African lions in their respective dens. These include the five that displayed symptoms.

A Mandai Wildlife Group spokesman said last week that vitamin C was added to the lions' diet but there was no need to administer other medications.

The lion exhibits were also closed while the animals rested.

Mr Ong said he had asked for an update on the five lions and their carers after reading news reports about the deaths of three snow leopards at a zoo in Nebraska, United States, due to Covid-19 complications.

The Lincoln Children's Zoo had mourned the deaths of the snow leopards Ranney, Everest and Makalu in a Nov 12 Facebook post.

Two Sumatran tigers at the American zoo had also tested positive for Covid-19 but appeared to be pulling through, according to the most recent statements from the zoo.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2021, with the headline Five lions with Covid-19 recovering, their carers on the mend too. Subscribe