Pet owners are in a frenzy wondering if they can pass COVID-19 to their beloved animals after a report of a person doing exactly that to a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York.
Nadie, a 4-year-old Malayan tiger contracted the coronavirus from an asymptomatic worker. She is expected to be okay, as are the other six large cats that also have symptoms.
Nikki Smith from Sonoma County’s Safari West, an African adventure park that has cheetahs, rhinos and other exotic animals, said she was surprised but not shocked.
“That could happen to anybody,” Smith said. “We wear masks and gloves while we are making the diets, delivering the diets and interacting with any of our animals.”
Dog and cat owners are wondering if they should be worried that they’ll contaminate their pets and if that can even happen.
“At this point the determination from our governing body, from people who are more in the know, they have said there is no evidence of that,” said Dr. Peter Dowell at the Alto-Tiburon Veterinary Hospital in Mill Valley.
“We are all so close to our animals, hugging them, having them in our rooms close to us, that definitely would not be a good thing,” said Dave from Alto-Tiburon Veterinary Hospital.
Experts say pet owners should still error on the side of caution. Those who have COVID-19 should have someone else take care of their animal.
Limiting interaction with them just like they would other people.