OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Bay Area zoos are taking precautions after a tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday.
The Oakland Zoo said they are now expanding their protocols for personal protective equipment (PPE). None of the animals at the Oakland Zoo are showing any signs of illness, including its tigers, zoo officials said.READ MORE: San Francisco Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Jump 600%; Mayor, Police Chief Pledge Response, Urge Residents To Report Crimes
The tiger at the Bronx Zoo is the first case of an animal contracting COVID-19 in the United States. Officials believe Nadia, the 4-year-old Malayan tiger, was infected by an asymptomatic zookeeper that was caring for her.
Several other tigers and lions at the Bronx Zoo have also developed a dry cough.
Oakland Zoo outlined the precautions they’re taking in a statement Sunday night:READ MORE: Western Monarch Butterfly Population Rebounding In California But Still Below Historic Levels
“Our animal keepers and vets have been taking preventative measures around species that were previously known to be susceptible. Now, with this new evidence from Bronx Zoo, we’re adding those same preventative measures for all our big cats.”
“Really, animals can’t transmit COVID-19 to us. I think the biggest threat is maybe they can have it on their fur, but I think the virus is much more susceptible to being picked up on flatter surfaces,” said Dr. Rachael Berkeley, a staff veterinarian and co-owner from Center Veterinary Clinic in Novato.MORE NEWS: Hayward Man Charged With Murder After Triggering Fatal Collision While Trying To Elude Police
The American Veterinary Medical; Association agrees with Berkeley, adding that it’s very unlikely that COVID-19 could travel on people’s dogs or cats, even if their owners have the virus.