Birmingham Zoo takes precaution following confirmed COVID-19 case in NYC zoo tiger

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first nonhuman case in the U.S. on record.

While there aren’t any tigers at the Birmingham Zoo, officials there said there are plans to take precautions.

A lion at The Birmingham Zoo.

“It’s an ever-changing process, learning how susceptible animals are,” said Director of Animal Health at the Birmingham Zoo Stephanie McCain. “We’re evaluating this process and are making changes as needed.”

The 4-year-old tiger is believed to have been infected by a COVID-19-carrying Bronx Zoo employee. According to Chief Veterinarian at the Bronx Zoo Paul Calle, this is the first case anywhere in the world, to his knowledge, that a human infected an animal.

“Given the fact that a tiger has tested positive, it is likely that most felids would be susceptible,” said McCain. “We’ll continue to keep an eye out on all of our animals but certainly, the felids are more on our radar.”

McCain says that most animals at the Birmingham Zoo have areas that can be modified to accommodate distancing measures, if needed.


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