COVID-19 Is Caught By An Unvaccinated Snow Leopard At The San Diego Zoo

SAN DIEGO — COVID-19 has been contracted by an unvaccinated snow leopard at the San Diego Zoo.

On Thursday, caretakers observed Ramil, a 9-year-old male snow leopard, with a cough and a runny nose. Two additional tests of his feces later confirmed the presence of the coronavirus, according to a statement released by the zoo on Friday.

The zoo said Ramil isn’t displaying any other symptoms, but because he shares an enclosure with a female snow leopard and two Amur leopards, the crew believes they’ve been exposed. The animals were quarantined as a consequence, and their display was shuttered.

It is unknown how Ramil became afflicted.

COVID-19 was caught by an eight-gorilla troop at the zoo’s sister site, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, in January from a caretaker who had the virus but exhibited no symptoms.

The gorilla troop was the first known case of the virus infecting apes, and it has subsequently recovered.

The zoo was forced to request an experimental COVID-19 vaccination for animals for emergency usage as a result of the incident. The vaccine, developed by Zoetis, an animal health firm that was previously owned by Pfizer, was given to animals who were most at risk of developing COVID-19, such as primates and large cats.

Ramil, on the other hand, had not been vaccinated prior to his illness.

The personnel is not required to get vaccinated, but unvaccinated employees must wear masks at all times, according to the zoo.

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