4 African lions at Utah’s Hogle Zoo test positive for COVID-19 Delta Variant

Oct 25, 2021, 6:21 PM | Updated: 7:46 pm
Four African lions at Utah's Hogle Zoon have test positive for COVID-19 Delta Variant Photo credit:...
Four African lions at Utah's Hogle Zoon have test positive for COVID-19 Delta Variant Photo credit: Utah's Hogle Zoo

SALT LAKE CITY — Four African lions at Utah’s Hogle Zoo have tested positive for the COVID-19 Delta Variant, according to zoo officials.

Zoo officials are not sure how the lions contracted the illness. However, they were tested after showing symptoms of sneezing and coughing. 

Dr. Erika Crook, an associate veterinarian for Utah’s Hogle Zoo, said she and assistant took a nasal swab sample of the four African lions. The samples were sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, and all came back with positive results.

“This is the very first time we have submitted any diagnostic samples of any kind for COVID-19 during the entire pandemic,” Crook said. 

Crook says taking a sample taken from their nose is something the Lions are not used to.

“Lions have never had that done before,” she said. “But they were very, I’m not going to say willing, but they definitely put up with it and they got a food reward.”

Crook says the lions seemed to be more cooperative toward the nasal swab than some of her own family members.

“My own daughters have been swabbed for COVID-19, always negative thankfully,” she said. “But I feel like the lions were possibly more willing than my daughters.”

Despite testing positive,  Crook isn’t concerned about the lions spreading the illness.

“I don’t really have any concerns for our guests coming over to Hogle Zoo,” she said. “I encourage them to come to Hogle Zoo. The lion enclosure is such that most of the viewing is behind glass. And the areas that aren’t glass, there is a mesh. But the public is pretty far away from the lions so I don’t think there is much risk for transmitting from one to another.”

Crook says there is a vaccine for animals. She says it is formulated for animals, so it is different from the vaccine used for humans.

“We are discussing the pros and cons of vaccinating our collection,” she said. 

Read more

Today’s Top Stories


carbon monoxide poisoning...
Ali Litzinger

Carbon monoxide poisoning on the rise in winter months

SALT LAKE CITY — Winter is approaching and officials want people to know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Last year, nearly 200 Utahns were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.  The flame in a gas appliance should generally be blue, with some orange. If the flame is mostly yellow, it’s giving off excess carbon monoxide.  […]
2 months ago
Mark Jackson

BYU wellness students return from Blue zone with healthy lifestyle tips

Some BYU students are learning how to live healthy and happier lives from a trip to Ikaria, Greece.
2 months ago
mental health rural...
Devin Oldroyd

Salt Lake Co. Council voting to fund temporary mental health receiving center

Salt Lake County Council will vote Tuesday morning on Funding for a temporary mental health receiving center at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute.
2 months ago
Driven to Assist Season of Service by Larry H Miller....
Elizabeth Weiler and Waverly Golden

Companies around Utah offer free Thanksgiving meals and more

The Miller Foundation, Crossroads Urban Center, and Ken Garff are all offering Thanksgiving meals and other services for Thanksgiving.
2 months ago
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...
Mark Jackson

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Memphis NAACP pair to help mothers

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Memphis NAACP are partnering to launch "MyBaby4Me" to help new and expecting mothers.
2 months ago
Shortages in daycares across the country and in Utah are keeping thousands of parents home, intead ...
Becky Bruce and Kira Hoffelmeyer

School and daycare facilities haven’t “bounced back” to normalcy

Along with the rest of the nation, a shortage of daycare workers and teachers in Utah means parents are staying home from work.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
4 African lions at Utah’s Hogle Zoo test positive for COVID-19 Delta Variant