Two hyenas have become the latest animals to test positive for Covid-19 at a zoo in the US.

The latest two animal victims live at Denver Zoo, Colorado, which is home to over 3,000 animals.

The spotted hyenas are only suffering mild symptoms, say zoo vets: they both have a cough and a runny nose and are generally under the weather.

The cases involving Ngozi, 22, and Kibo, 23, at the 80-acre zoological garden are the first confirmed ones among the animals worldwide.

Several lions at the zoo have become ill, reports the New York Post, leading zoo administrators calling for all of the animals to be tested.

Eleven lions and two tigers at the zoo have tested positive.

A Denver Zoo spokesperson said: The zoo said in a statement: "Hyenas are famously tough, resilient animals that are known to be highly tolerant to anthrax, rabies and distemper.

"They are otherwise healthy and expected to make a full recovery.

“We now know that many other species may be susceptible to COVID-19 based on multiple reports, and we continue to use the highest level of care and precaution when working with all of our 3,000 animals and 450 different species”.

The disease is thought to have crossed from animals to humans in the first place, and outbreaks in mink farms have shown that infected animals can pass the virus back to humans.

Pigs can also host coronaviruses. In 2018, researchers identified a strain of coronavirus in bats that went on to kill some 25,000 pigs in southern China.

To stay up to date with all the latest news, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.

Pigs and humans are prey to many of the same diseases. Martin Beer, a virologist at the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health in Greifswald, Germany, told scientific journal Nature that scientists are “always afraid if pigs are involved”.

He pointed out that some 300 million pigs are farmed in China, where the pandemic originally began.

However, pigs are comparatively resistant to Covid-19: “Thank goodness, because with the volume of pig production globally, that would have been a huge problem,” said Peter Daszak, president of the non-profit research organisation Ecohealth Alliance in New York.

Source: Read Full Article