Keeping animals healthy during the pandemic

After a tiger tested positive for the Coronavirus at the Bronx Zoo, Zookeepers locally at the Utica Zoo are taking extra precautions to keep the animals healthy.

Posted: Apr 7, 2020 6:58 PM

UTICA, N.Y. --- After a tiger tested positive for the Coronavirus at the Bronx Zoo, Zookeepers locally at the Utica Zoo are taking extra precautions to keep the animals healthy.

The tiger got the Coronavirus from a zookeeper who ended up testing positive.

Utica Zoo Executive Director Andria Heath said she was surprised when she heard the news about the tiger.

"We were surprised as everyone to hear about the tiger in the Bronx zoo. But we are continuing to practice safe veterinary practices and all of our zookeepers are wearing masks and gloves when around the animals," said Heath.

Zookeepers have been wearing protective equipment when interacting with the animals. When feeding the lions, zookeepers normally keep their distance. But now they leave even more room between them and the animal to avoid possible exposure.

In terms of your pets at home, the CDC reports that no pets have tested positive for COVID-19 as of yet in the U.S. But veterinarian Dr. David Nickel of Whitesboro tells NEWSChannel 2 we can still give the virus to them.

"The recommendation of the CDC is that if someone does test positive for COVID-19 to have someone else take care of their cats and dogs," said Nickel.

The common symptoms to look out for particularly in cats is coughing and sneezing. Similar symptoms we humans look out for. But Dr. Nickel said like humans we can cough or sneeze for a number of different reasons. So he's urging pet owners not to panic if a pet begins showing symptoms.

"The problems with the symptoms of the COVID virus are nonspecific symptoms like coughing sneezing. Cats get many respiratory symptoms that are unique to the cat. They can get a Rhino Tracheal virus that causes coughing and sneezing or they could get a calicivirus that causes coughing and sneezing. So I would caution people if their pet is coughing and sneezing, its unlikely to be the coronavirus," said Nickel.

Vets ask if you have any questions about possible symptoms, to give them a call.

The CDC's full report on pets and COVID-19 can be found here.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2109313

Reported Deaths: 53549
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings28051310452
Queens2771879955
Suffolk2009893400
Nassau1836013174
Bronx1834126586
New York1382124499
Westchester1296452289
Erie895641806
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Albany24694356
Oneida22609513
Niagara20032372
Broome18616366
Saratoga15359168
Ulster13905257
Schenectady13197205
Rensselaer11225142
Putnam1060592
Chautauqua8950145
Chemung7758136
Oswego761992
Ontario740393
Steuben6952144
Sullivan667276
St. Lawrence663396
Cayuga633792
Jefferson613068
Wayne578170
Cattaraugus572091
Genesee5435124
Herkimer5182109
Clinton483533
Madison456289
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Tompkins434652
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Tioga382963
Warren365857
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Chenango349876
Otsego346047
Greene340279
Washington315955
Orleans311883
Lewis280736
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Seneca201056
Schoharie169217
Essex159326
Yates117826
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Hamilton3132
Unassigned9211
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