Research led by scientists at the University of Pretoria found three lions and two pumas fell ill with coronavirus – and the clues point to infection by their handlers, some of whom were asymptomatic. The investigation was launched after three lions at an unnamed private zoo in Johannesburg fell ill last year with breathing difficulties, runny noses and a dry cough. One of the three developed pneumonia while the other two recovered after experiencing milder symptoms. As the signs were similar to coronavirus among humans, the animals were tested for COVID-19 and these came back positive. To establish the source of the infection, 12 zoo workers who had had direct and indirect contact with the animals were then tested, five of whom tested positive.