Officials with the Hubei Provincial People’s Government, in a Monday news release (computer translated), reported on two African lions at the Hubei Zoo that were infected with H5N1 avian influenza


Two African lions (1 male, 1 female) at the city zoo that demonstrated high fever and other abnormalities. They were taken to isolation to identify the cause of the illness and to get treatment. The male African lion’s condition suddenly deteriorated and he died soon afterwards. The female African lion was treated by the Changchun military Medical veterinary hospital, Huazhong Agricultural University and other emergency experts and since been recovered.

It doesn’t appear that other zoo animals were affected.

Samples were taken at thee autopsy on the male lion. The Conservancy Military Medical Veterinary Hospital detected H5N1 influenza virus that matched 99 percent to the strain of virus that that was isolated from a white tiger in 2015.

The zoo has undergone disinfection and the dead lion was incinerated and disposed of. The zoo birds have been vaccinated, according to the report.

H5N1 avian influenza Image/Cynthia Goldsmith/ Jackie Katz
H5N1 avian influenza
Image/Cynthia Goldsmith/ Jackie Katz

Officials in the province are also carrying out sample testing as part of the investigation and as of Monday, the virus has not been detected in other wildlife.

To further strengthen the province’s wild animal epidemic sources and disease monitoring and prevention and control work, the provincial Forestry Department issued a document requiring the forestry sector at all levels, in accordance with the requirements of the focus period, to strengthen prevention and control of wild animal epidemic sources and disease monitoring, so early detection, early reporting, early disposal; further implement the ban order of birds, wildlife and out Closure transport permits, each zoo prohibited person close contact with wild animals, wild animals in captivity breeding strengthening workplace health supervision.