Belgian zoo says its two very runny-nosed hippos have COVID-19

A Belgian zoo said on Friday that a pair of hippopotamuses in its care are in isolation after they tested positive. COVID-19It may be the first time ever that such animals have contracted the disease.

Belgium’s National Veterinary Laboratory has confirmed that two hippopotamuses at the Antwerp Zoo – Imani, 14, and Hermine, 41 – have contracted COVID-19.

It is unclear how they caught it.

Two hippos at a Belgian zoo have contracted COVID-19.
Two hippos at a Belgian zoo have contracted COVID-19. (GT)

Both giant semi-aquatic herbivores are fine, apart from exceptionally runny noses.

Keepers have tightened virus restrictions around the zoo.

To my knowledge, this is the first recorded contamination among these species. Worldwide, this virus has been seen mostly in great apes and cats,” said Francis Verkamen, veterinarian at Antwerp Zoo.

How the hippopotamus contracted the disease remains a mystery.

All zoo animals were tested for COVID-19 last year and no cases were found.

hippopotamus.  Taken in Okavango, Botswana.
Zookeepers aren’t sure how hippos become infected with the virus. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Hippopotamuses’ noses are usually wet, but Verkamin said he decided to test the thick liquid coming out as a precaution and was surprised by the result.

The hippo enclosure has been closed to visitors and will only reopen when the pair has tested negative.

This moment with Wolf was short but memorable for Mr. Budziak.  & quot;  This wolf is amazing.  I wanted to show how beautiful these animals can be, so I was glad when this wolf stopped, smelled the air and seemed to appreciate the moment as much as I did.  Soon after this photo was taken, I left.  It is always best to limit your time in the urban wilderness.  & quot;

Pictures show what happens when nature collides with cities

All those working with them have tested negative for the virus and should wear masks and safety glasses and disinfect their shoes before approaching the animals.

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