Virus outbreak that killed 7 big cats appears over

WYLIE, Texas (AP) — A spokeswoman for a North Texas animal sanctuary where seven big cats have died of a virus says the worst of the outbreak appears to be over even though some cats still show symptoms.

Lisa Williams said Monday that 22 animals — lions, tigers and leopards — tested positive for canine distemper at the height of the outbreak over the summer at In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center. Besides the seven cats killed by the virus, other animals either no longer show any signs or exhibit minor symptoms such as loss of appetite.

Experts believe raccoons transferred the virus into the large outdoor cages that house the cats.

Williams says a lion named Sabu died Sunday but at 23 years old his death was attributed to old age and infirmity. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, racial slurs or consistent name calling will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

blog comments powered by Disqus