National Zoo lions, tigers who tested positive for COVID-19 ‘showing improvement’

All of the surviving big cats at the National Zoo in D.C. who tested presumptive positive for the novel coronavirus two weeks ago are now eating and showing improvement, but they’re still suffering from pneumonia, officials announced on Friday.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: National Zoo lions, tigers test 'presumptive positive' for COVID-19

On Sept. 17, the zoo revealed that the lions and tigers had tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. A week later, the zoo said that while most of the big cats were improving, three had to be anesthetized; and three others were "of greater concerns."

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On Friday, they said that all of the big cats are "improving and eating."

They say the cats are being treated for discomfort or nausea as needed.


According to the zoo, they’re testing the animals' fecal samples to figure out when they start shedding the virus – and noted that may take "more than 30 days."

Cubs born to sister lionesses Shera and Naba and papa Luke last year at the National Zoo are on the verge of turning seven and eight months old, and soon the precocious bunch will be split up. (Credit: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)