“Our leopards, Ranney, Everest and Makalu, were loved by our entire community inside and outside the zoo,” the zoo said in a Facebook post. “This loss is truly heartbreaking and we are all grieving together.”
Snow leopards are native to mountainous regions of Central Asia and are considered vulnerable, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
Last month, the zoo said the leopards and Sumatran tigers tested positive after showing symptoms consistent with the virus. The animals were treated with steroids and antibiotics to prevent secondary infections, the zoo said at the time.
“The Sumatran tigers, Axl and Kumar, have apparently made a full recovery from their illness,” zoo officials said Friday.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Covid-19 has been detected in a number of mammals, including big cats, primates, ferrets and minks.
The zoo will remain open “and will continue to take all precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to humans and animals,” it reads on Facebook.
“We will continue to follow guidelines from the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) and CDC to ensure the safety of our animals, staff and the community,” the post said.
A snow leopard at the San Diego Zoo tested positive in July, and three snow leopards at the Louisville Zoo were infected with the disease in December last year.