Two Lions Die After Infection With Coronavirus in Japan

Two lions have died after contracting the novel coronavirus at Adventure World, a theme park in Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture, the facility announced Thursday.

This is believed to be the first case of infection among zoo animals in Japan.

According to the park, the two lions were infected in early January. The 19-year-old male died on Jan. 9 and the 21-year-old female three days later. The direct cause of death was pneumonia, but specimens sent to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases tested positive for the virus.

From Jan. 3, both animals exhibited a runny nose, coughing and loss of appetite. Two keepers were infected with the coronavirus at around the same time, and the virus is believed to have been transmitted from them to the lions.

The eight other lions at the facility showed symptoms such as coughing, but are said to be recovering now.