Snow leopard at Great Plains Zoo dies days after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A snow leopard at the Great Plains Zoo has died, the zoo announced Friday.

Baya, the 2-year-old snow leopard, was new to the zoo after being transferred from the Akron Zoo earlier this year.

On Sunday and into Monday, Baya started exhibiting signs of a cough, which was followed by inappetence and lethargy.

On Thursday, Keesa, an Amur tiger, tested positive for COVID-19. Shortly after, Baya experienced a decline in respiratory function. Baya passed away Thursday evening the zoo said in a statement.

Baya | Courtesy Great Plains Zoo

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Baya. Our animal care and veterinary staffs fought arduously and did their best to help give Baya a fighting chance,” CEO Becky Dewitz said.

Baya will undergo a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

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