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Denver zoo reports two hyenas tested positive for COVID

16:41, 06 November 2021
Denver zoo reports two hyenas tested positive for COVID Photo: denverzoo/twitter.com

The results for coronavirus tests for two hyenas at Denver zoo returned positive which confirmed that the 22-year-old Ngozi and 23-year-old Kibo were the first species of that kind who caught COVID.


Multiple samples from various animals were taken after several lions from the same zoo were spotted ill, according to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories. The first suspicion that hyenas are infected with COVID-19 came from the Colorado State University and later was confirmed by the national lab. 

Hyenas are considered to be tough and resilient to various kinds of diseases and “highly tolerant to anthrax, rabies, and distemper,” Denver zoo said.

The two hyenas had mild symptoms like slight weakness, a runny nose, and a cough.

The other animals that were previously tested positive are now either fully recovered or close to the full restoration. 

“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 zoo in a statement. 

Earlier, there were multiple reports from US zoos that animals tested positive for coronavirus presence. The symptoms were all the way similar when animals, most of them predators, experienced flaccidity, nasal discharges, and a cough. Thus Atlanta zoo officials reported that more than a dozen of gorillas tested positive for COVID having had the above-mentioned symptoms. Snow Leopard at San Diego zoo was also hit by the infection as well as several tigers and six African lions from Smithsonian National Zoo.

At the end of October, the US intelligence agencies said in the issued report that the origins of COVID-19 appearance might never be discovered until further data of how it started is received. Nonetheless, the agency didn’t exclude that the infection could have its start in a wild environment.