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.

Confirmed Cases: 448052

Reported Deaths: 33085
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Queens714747239
Kings667377314
Bronx524684940
Nassau460522201
Suffolk459562011
Westchester377181454
New York329383178
Richmond156891085
Rockland14747675
Orange11760498
Erie10873689
Monroe5857289
Dutchess5050153
Onondaga4185205
Albany2979134
Oneida2369123
Ulster223595
Niagara1707101
Putnam156963
Sullivan156848
Broome145069
Schenectady137448
Saratoga98517
Rensselaer89542
Columbia58037
Chautauqua5359
Madison48417
Ontario45435
Oswego4183
Tompkins3900
Warren35433
Steuben34242
Fulton33124
Otsego3245
Orleans32254
Greene31918
Herkimer31810
St. Lawrence3144
Genesee3095
Wayne3065
Chemung3053
Washington28714
Cattaraugus2496
Chenango2487
Tioga22225
Montgomery2194
Livingston2018
Cayuga1952
Jefferson1600
Essex1570
Clinton1545
Cortland1500
Wyoming1315
Delaware1294
Seneca1053
Allegany951
Schoharie830
Franklin640
Yates627
Lewis500
Schuyler370
Hamilton140
Unassigned019
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