Omaha zoo reports two tigers with COVID-19
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium announced Friday that two Amur tigers have tested positive for COVID-19.
Zoo officials say veterinary staff requested samples from many of the zoo’s large cats after one 11-year-old female tiger began to cough.
The zoo states that with the help of the Douglas County Health Department, the nasal swabs were tested at the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory and two swabs from Amur tigers came up positive. They also report that swabs from the female Snow Leopard and two male Lions were negative.
Authorities say that follow-up testing is currently being done to confirm the positive results.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium reveals that the 8-year-old male and 11-year-old female Tigers have shown minor symptoms including coughing, sneezing, mild lethargy, and a mild decrease in appetite. Zoo officials say they are optimistic that the large cats will fully recover.
Zookeepers report that no other animals at the zoo have shown clinical signs consistent with COVID-19 at the time.
Zoo officials say they put additional rules into place at the end of Oct., following the COVID-19 related death of a Snow Leopard at a different zoo, in order to minimize their felids’ exposure to the disease.
After these positive cases in two Amur tigers, authorities say that further safety precautions have been put in place to restrict access to indoor cat areas and suspend training where keepers are within six feet of the animals.
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