Canada: Two lions test positive for SARS-CoV-2 at Calgary Zoo

Animals, Canada, Coronavirus, Infection, Lions, PCR, Spillover, Symptoms, Testing, Transmission

Two female lions have tested positive for Covid in Calgary Zoo, Canada, with other animals in the zoo also displaying symptoms.

2 female zoo lions tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after an episode of mild respiratory disease. 2 male lions also developed clinical signs 48 hours later but were not tested. One of 2 Amur tigers and one of 2 Pallas cats also developed similar clinical signs, neither was confirmed positive to SARS-CoV-2. All cats were previously vaccinated for SARS-CoV-2 and all have recovered.

SARS-CoV-2 has been found to have naturally infected 34 species of 11 different taxonomic orders. The order Carnivora is particularly susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2. The pandemic virus has been confirmed so far in carnivores of 6 families, canids (dogs, raccoon dogs and red fox), felids (cats, tigers, lions, puma/cougar, leopard, snow leopard, Canada lynx, Eurasian lynx, bobcat and Fishing cat), mustelids (ferrets, minks and small clawed otter), viverrids (binturongs), procyonids (coatimundis), and hyenids (hyenas). In addition, skunks (Mephitidae) were found to be susceptible to experimental infection. In most cases infections are subclinical or mild, but there are some reports of deaths attributable to COVID-19.

Promed report


** Reports of Covid infections in animals (excluding deer) have become less common since the Omicron variant became dominant worldwide. This is the first report of a Covid infection in a lion we have seen since January 2022. We have linked to that post below. **


South Africa: Puma and 3 lions infected with Delta variant in Pretoria Zoo





Photo by Paulo Doi on Unsplash

** This post was originally published on December 30, 2022 **