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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Belgian zoo says its 2 hippos have COVID-19

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Officers from a Belgian zoo mentioned Friday {that a} pair of hippopotamuses in its care are in isolation after testing Positive for COVID-19, presumably the primary time ever such animals have caught the illness.

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Belgium’s nationwide veterinary lab has confirmed that Antwerp Zoo’s two hippos — Imani, 14, and 41-year-old Hermien — contracted COVID-19. It is unclear how they caught it. Each the large semiaquatic herbivores are properly, aside from exceptionally runny noses. Keepers have tightened virus restrictions across the zoo.

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“To my information, it’s the primary recorded contamination amongst this species. All through the world this virus has largely been seen in nice apes and felines,” Antwerp Zoo vet Francis Vercammen mentioned.

Recovering hippo populations close to the ICCN Ranger station on July 31, 2013 in Lulimibi, Lake Edward. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images for WWF-Canon)

Recovering hippo populations near the ICCN Ranger station on July 31, 2013 in Lulimibi, Lake Edward. (Picture by Brent Stirton/Getty Photographs for WWF-Canon)
(2013 Getty Photographs)

How the hippos obtained the illness stays a thriller. All of the zoo’s animals had been examined for COVID-19 final yr and no case was discovered. Hippos’ noses usually are usually moist, however Vercammen mentioned he determined to check the thick liquid popping out as a precaution and was stunned by the end result.

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The hippos’ enclosure has been closed to guests and can solely be reopened as soon as the pair take a look at unfavorable. 

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Their handlers have all examined unfavorable for the virus and should put on masks and security glasses and disinfect their footwear earlier than approaching the 2 animals.



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