Here’s a headline for you to ponder this morning: “Snotty-nosed hippos test positive for coronavirus in Belgium, the first known cases in species.”
What does that mean, Washington Post? Are we talking about a particular wet-nosed species of hippo? Or some regular specimens who happen to be stuck-up? How would one ascertain that display of attitude from a hippo?
I’ll give you a third guess, which is the correct one: The hippos in question were literally “expelling snot,” DW News reported. Staff at the Antwerp Zoo in Belgium decided to test mother-and-daughter duo Hermien, 41, and Imani, 14, for COVID-19 after they noticed thick mucus coming out of the hippos’ unusually runny noses, per the Post. Bingo. Hermien and Imani tested positive, but have displayed no other symptoms, according to the zoo.
“To my knowledge, it’s the first recorded contamination among this species. Throughout the world this virus has mostly been seen in great apes and felines,” Antwerp Zoo veterinarian Francis Vercammen told the Associated Press.
It’s unclear how the hippos caught COVID. So far, positive cases of COVID have been recorded in dogs, cats, snow leopards, tigers, lions, deer, orangutans, gorillas, and mink.
For now, Hermien and Imani — whose enclosure has been sealed off from the public — are being given extra care. Sending good vibes to the snot-nosed mommy and child, and let us pray that the cursed COVID leaves our precious Fiona alone.