A snow leopard at the San Diego Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19 — forcing the zoo to temporarily shut down its leopard habitat to website visitors, officials claimed Friday.

Zoo employees 1st discovered that Ramil, a 9-calendar year-outdated male, experienced a cough and runny nose on Thursday, and despatched the animal’s stool to be tested, according to a statement from the San Diego Wildlife Alliance.

The California Animal Overall health and Food items Security Laboratory Technique confirmed the existence of the virus, the firm said.

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The zoo is waiting for the U.S. Division of Agriculture’s Nationwide Veterinary Expert services Laboratories to also affirm the benefits.

It is not nevertheless apparent how the leopard contracted the virus.

The zoo reported that it is closely checking Ramil’s wellness. The animal “appears to be undertaking effectively,” and has been quarantined, along with a female snow leopard and two Amur leopards who share a area and were being also probably uncovered.

Officials stated the show would be closed to website visitors until eventually even further see.

“While we await the results of assessments to ascertain if the snow leopard is beneficial for the virus that leads to COVID-19, we can assure you the snow leopard and the Amur leopards who share his habitat are receiving outstanding care,” stated Dwight Scott, the zoo’s govt director, in a statement.

“Our veterinary groups and wildlife treatment specialists at the two the Zoo and Safari Park are remarkably experienced, devoted professionals who operate tirelessly to be certain the properly-being of the wildlife in our treatment.”

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The zoo claimed it experienced gained a donation of “recombinant purified spike protein vaccine” for the animals that safeguards them towards COVID-19. 

The snow leopard had not received the vaccine, the zoo stated.

In accordance to the zoo, the gorilla troop that caught COVID-19 from an asymptomatic wildlife treatment professional in January has fully recovered.

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