Snow leopard dies after contracting COVID-19 at Miller Park Zoo in US

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 09, 2022, 10:25 AM(IST)

This is a representative photo of snow leopard. Photograph:( Others )

Story highlights

The zoo informed that the snow leopard has died at the Miller Park Zoo after struggling with Covid-induced pneumonia

A snow leopard has died at a zoo in Bloomington, Illinois after contracting coronavirus (COVID-19), the zoo informed in an Instagram post on Thursday (January 6). 

In the post, the zoo stated that Rilu, an 11-year-old snow leopard has died at the Miller Park Zoo after struggling with Covid-induced pneumonia. 

The zoo also informed that Rilu had arrived there in 2011 from the Oklahoma City Zoo and during his time here, he produced seven living offspring that are now part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP).

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The Instagram post said that Rilu made the Miller Park Zoo one of the leading institutions in the world in producing Snow Leopard cubs. Rilu's personality and beauty will be missed but he will not be forgotten, the zoo said. 

Rilu's pictures have been shown all over the world, including on the Empire State Building in New York. He is captured on film in Joel Sartore's project The Photo Ark.   

"I love that the legacy of Rilu will live on in the Photo Ark. Rilu will engage and astonish the world for many years to come," zoo superintendent Jay Tetzloff said. 

COVID-19 in animals

The United States reported evidence of transfer of coronavirus (COVID-19) from humans to wild white-tailed deer, with subsequent spread of the virus among deer. After the US, Canada also found confirmed cases of coronavirus in wildlife, in three white-tailed deer.

The spread of the COVID-19 virus in deer is not unique as reports have emerged that the virus has infected multiple species of animals globally, including farmed mink, companion animals such as cats and dogs and also some zoo animals. 

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