The lions and tigers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo who tested presumptive positive for COVID-19 the week of Sept. 13 are behaving and eating normally. The second follow-up COVID results from eight individual lion and tiger fecal samples are reported as "undetermined" except for one lion, Luke, whose sample was still positive. According to the lab, "undetermined" indicates likely negative/no virus detected. The samples were collected Oct. 4 except for Luke’s sample, which was collected Sept. 30.
The Zoo will send two more sets of samples and anticipate the cats will be clear of the virus over the next 7-14 days. The numerous staff dedicated to the health and well-being of the lions and tigers are very pleased at the cats’ recovery. The Zoo’s COVID-19 safety and response protocols are in place and continue to be strictly followed.
Visit the Zoo’s newsroom for the Oct. 1 and Sept. 24 updates. Photos and b-roll available for download from the Sept. 17 press release.