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Covid-19: Infected African, Asiatic lions and zoo staff recovering well, says Ong Ye Kung

SINGAPORE — The five lions and three zookeepers under the Mandai Wildlife Group infected with Covid-19 are on the road to recovery, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Tuesday (Nov 16).

Covid-19: Infected African, Asiatic lions and zoo staff recovering well, says Ong Ye Kung

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that the lion prides from the Night Safari and the Singapore Zoo are recovering well in their dens, away from public areas.

SINGAPORE — The five lions and three zookeepers under the Mandai Wildlife Group infected with Covid-19 are on the road to recovery, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Tuesday (Nov 16).

Mr Ong said in a Facebook post that the zookeepers from the Night Safari's carnivore section are “on the mend with only mild symptoms”, while both lion prides from the Night Safari and the Singapore Zoo are “also recovering well” in their dens, away from public areas.

He added that the lions at the Night Safari are “bright, alert and doing well”, and their diets are being boosted with vitamins and supplements.

“All the lions continue to eat well,” Mr Ong said after an update he received from Mandai Park Holdings through its deputy chairman Tan Chuan-Jin, who is also Speaker of Parliament.

“Thought you might be interested to know,” Mr Ong added in the Facebook post.

The Animal and Veterinary Service first said on Nov 9 that four Asiatic lions at the Night Safari had tested positive for Covid-19 after being exposed to staff members from Mandai Wildlife Group who were infected with the coronavirus.

A day later, an African lion at the Singapore Zoo also tested positive for Covid-19.

All five lions had shown mild signs of sickness including coughing, sneezing and lethargy.

Mandai Wildlife Group, which runs the wildlife parks, told TODAY previously that two of the keepers tested positive while off-duty and the third, who had no symptoms, tested positive at work after tests were conducted on team members who had been in contact with the first two.

The third keeper was immediately stood down from duty.

Mr Ong said that he was prompted to ask about the animal carers and the lions after he read about three snow leopards that died of complications related to Covid-19 at a zoo in Lincoln, Nebraska, despite efforts by staff members to restore them to health after they tested positive for the virus about a month ago.

The snow leopards were not the only animals to have contracted the virus at the facility. The Lincoln Children’s Zoo had published a statement on Oct 13 disclosing that the snow leopards and Sumatran tigers had “tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19”.

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Covid-19 coronavirus lions Singapore Zoo Night Safari Ong Ye Kung

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