Two hippopotamuses at Antwerp
in what could be the first reported cases in the species, staff said.
Imani, aged 14, and Hermien, 41, have no symptoms apart from runny noses, but the
zoo said they had been put in quarantine as a precaution.
“To my knowledge, this is the first time in this species. Worldwide, this virus has been
reported mainly in great apes and felines,” the zoo’s vet, Francis Vercammen, said.
The coronavirus is thought to have jumped from an animal to a human, and it is
proved to have passed from humans to animals.
Pets including cats, dogs and ferrets have become infected following contact with
their owners, and zoo cases have been reported in big cats, otters, primates and
hyenas. The disease has also spread in mink farms and to wild animals such as deer.
Antwerp zoo is investigating the causes of the outbreak. None of the zookeepers had
recently shown Covid symptoms or tested positive for the virus, it said.
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