KEEPERS AT Dublin Zoo have confirmed they are maintaining a social distance from the animals as a precaution following a tiger in New York's Bronx Zoo testing positive for coronavirus.
A high-profile case in America's worst-hit city saw Malayan Tiger Nadia test positive for the novel coronavirus after being allegedly infected by her asymptomatic keeper.
The tiger, as well as multiple other animals in the Bronx Zoo, developed a 'dry cough' and Nadia tested positive, in what is believed to be the first confirmed instance of an animal contracting the disease after being infected by a human.
Dublin Zoo are now taking extra precautionary measures to ensure the same does not happen to their animals, and have confirmed that none of their animals are showing any symptoms.
In a statement seen by The Irish Times, the zoo said:
“To ensure the safety of its staff and animals, Dublin Zoo has put in place strict social distancing protocols for the animal care team in line with HSE guidelines.
“Precautionary measures have also been taken to safeguard against reverse zoonosis, the transfer of Covid -19 (or indeed other pathogens) from humans to felines or other animals.
“Precautions include wearing of appropriate PPE including masks during feeding and cleaning activity, regular disinfection of equipment, and regular hand washing and disinfection.”
Though the zoo has been closed since March 12 and is not expected to reopen until at least 20 April, keepers are still working to ensure the safety and well-being of the animals.
For those missing day trips to Ireland's most popular zoo, there's some good news-- the zoo is providing live webcam access to it animals for the duration of the lockdown.