TL;DR – Five lions now infected.
An African lion at the Singapore Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19 after showing signs of illness.
This comes one day after it was reported that four Asia Asiatic lions at the Night Safari have been infected with the virus.
4 lions from Singapore’s Night Safari test positive for COVID-19 after exposure to infected staff
In a statement released by the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) on 10 November, the AVS said that a faecal sample was taken from the African lion that showed signs of sickness on 8 November.
Subsequently, the lion was tested positive for COVID-19 via the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).
All lions isolated in their respective dens
When it was first reported that the lions have been infected, AVS has issued an order to Mandai Wildlife Group to isolate all nine Asiatic lions and five African lions in their respective dens. This includes the five lions that have tested positive for COVID-19.
The AVS also said that it will continue to work with the Mandai Wildlife Group to closely monitor the health of the lions, which includes sampling and testing of their faecal material for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), there is currently no evidence that animals play a role in the spread of the disease to humans.
However, OIE also noted that there have been sporadic and isolated reports in other countries of animals testing positive after coming into close contact with humans infected with COVID-19.