COVID-19 has been found in the feces and nose swabs of two lions in the Zagreb ZOO, which is the first confirmation of this virus in a species in a Croatian ZOO, the Agriculture Ministry said on Wednesday.
The two lions were tested after manifesting the clinical signs of the disease and due to their epidemiological link to a person (the lions’ handler) positive for COVID-19. This was done as part of a programme monitoring SARS-CoV-2 infection in animals and determining their role in the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Croatia, a press release said.
The ministry said that for now, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health, there was no evidence that pets had a major role in transmitting COVID-19 to humans and the risk was considered very low.
Nonetheless, the ministry said, it is recommended that persons suspected of having or having COVID-19 avoid close contact with their pets and that animals of persons with COVID-19 be isolated.