really terrifying and a really cool design!
From the last of us wiki
- "As was revealed by Naughty Dog at PAX Prime Panel 2013 Event, there were originally supposed to be other Infected animals, including elephants, which are described as having fungal growths on their legs and mushrooms in their heads. However this design did not make it into the final game, therefore, it is unknown if in-universe animals are capable of becoming infected, as they often seem to be scared away by infected. It's shown during The University chapter that monkeys can be infected."
I find your cordyceps gorilla more believable than your cordyceps lion. Both humans and gorillas distance related as they are both part of the ape family, while lions are felines. A disease jump to different species is very rare, but if two species are closely related to each other it is possilbe, look at bird disease it can easly jump for a pigeon to chicken, same with cow disease or pig disease.
Why not make Cordyceps Chimpanzee and Cordyceps Monkey? Humans are closely related to apes and monkeys and feel kind of kinship with them, and seeing something so closely related to humans infected is alot scarier and sends a message that humanity cannot escape this infection so easily.