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: 2362682

Reported Deaths: 54846
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings31550210709
Queens30350010134
Suffolk2253653502
Nassau2050193243
Bronx2006696685
New York1599194598
Westchester1400252327
Erie980631875
Richmond849681901
Monroe771961151
Orange54045887
Rockland50441767
Onondaga45101704
Dutchess33437483
Albany28073368
Oneida25360538
Niagara21881382
Broome21369381
Saratoga18186185
Ulster16145270
Schenectady15071214
Rensselaer13084154
Putnam1170595
Chautauqua10622154
Oswego9402100
Chemung8837142
St. Lawrence8646115
Ontario840595
Steuben8179155
Cayuga7760100
Sullivan771780
Jefferson728571
Wayne680477
Cattaraugus662296
Genesee5959126
Herkimer5905115
Tompkins579559
Clinton546434
Madison530296
Fulton520497
Livingston510264
Montgomery4978133
Cortland472769
Warren460276
Columbia4558107
Tioga434466
Chenango411285
Otsego411050
Allegany394692
Greene387682
Wyoming386854
Washington383761
Orleans356683
Franklin337615
Lewis312336
Delaware299040
Seneca242258
Schoharie204120
Essex191429
Yates137126
Schuyler125316
Hamilton4043
Unassigned13031
Out of NY0285
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