Update on COVID-19 Positive Great Cats at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo

The lions and tigers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo continue to be treated for COVID-19. All tigers and lions, including the three lions noted of concern in the Sept. 24 update, are improving and eating.

All six lions and two tigers are being treated for presumptive secondary bacterial pneumonia. Individual cats are being treated for discomfort and/or nausea as needed.  

Fecal samples are tested weekly to determine when the cats cease shedding the virus, which may take more than 30 days from the time keepers first noticed the cats’ symptoms. As of Sept. 30, follow-up fecal samples from two tigers and one lion have tested negative for the virus.

 The Zoo’s COVID-19 safety and response protocols are in place and continue to be strictly followed.

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Visit the Zoo’s newsroom for the Sept. 24 update and photos and b-roll available for download from the Sept. 17 press release.