Four lions at Barcelona zoo have tested positive for COVID-19.
It is the second known case of the large felines contracting the novel coronavirus.
Three females named Zala, Nima, and Run Run, as well as a male Kiumbe, were tested after keepers noticed symptoms.
Two staff at the zoo also tested positive for the virus, authorities said. Authorities are investigating how the lions became infected.
Keepers carried out polymerase chain reaction tests on the lions in the same way humans are tested as the animals are accustomed to contact with the zoo staff.
Last April, four tigers and three lions tested positive for the virus at Bronx zoo in New York. All recovered.
“The Zoo has contacted and collaborated with international experts such as the Veterinary Service of the Bronx Zoo, the only one that has documented cases of Sars-CoV-2 infection in felines,” the Barcelona zoo said in a statement.
“The lions were given veterinary care for their mild clinical condition – similar to a very mild flu condition – through anti-inflammatory treatment and close monitoring, and the animals responded well.”
The four-year-old male and the females, who are 16 years old, have had no contact with other animals at the zoo which is open to visitors.