According to a statement from the Edmonton Valley Zoo, the only non-human species currently known to be able to contract COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, are members of the cat family.
The zoo has two serval cats, two Canadian lynx, two snow leopards, two Amur (Siberian) tigers and even two domestic cats.
While the team at the Edmonton Valley Zoo has always used personal protective equipment (PPE) when training, shifting and feeding their cats, the zoo has added masks to the PPE after recommendations from veterinary advisers.
All materials, including food bowls, are disinfected, and the zoo has implemented a physical-distancing policy, meaning all staff are keeping at least two metres from the cats at all times.
The zoo, along with all city-run facilities, was closed on March 14 as the City of Edmonton reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Calgary, the zoo says it has been taking extra precautions for several weeks with its team and all animals.
The zoo has two Amur tigers named Youri and Sarma. The two remain healthy and are exhibiting normal tiger behaviours, as statement from the zoo said.
The zoo also said it remains in close contact with all accredited zoos around the world to share learnings as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues.
The Calgary Zoo closed its gates on March 16 and had to lay off 60 per cent of its employees.View link »