By Tamsin Brown • 04 December 2021 • 16:02
Two hippos at a zoo in Belgium have inexplicably tested positive for COVID, despite all of the zookeepers testing negative.
The hippopotami have tested positive for COVID at the Antwerp Zoo in northern Belgium. These are possibly the first cases recorded in the species, according to the staff at the zoo.
The hippopotami Imani, 14, and Hermien, 41, had no symptoms other than a runny nose, but the zoo had taken the decision to put them in quarantine as a precautionary measure.
“As far as I know, this is the first time in this species. Around the world, this virus has been detected principally in large primates and felines,” stated the zoo’s vet, Francis Vercammen.
There have been pets, including cats, dogs and ferrets, that have become infected with COVID due to contact with their owners, and zoos have reported cases in animals such as large cats, otters, primates and hyenas.
The virus has also previously spread to mink farms and wild animals such as deer.
Antwerp Zoo is investigating the cause of the infection. None of the zookeepers had recently shown symptoms of the virus or had tested positive.
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Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news.
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