In-Sync reports cougar COVID-19 case

by | Mar 24, 2021 | Latest

A cougar at In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educa­tional Center in Wylie has test­ed positive for COVID-19 and is the first cougar in the United States to contract the disease, with only one other case being reported in South Africa, In- Sync stated in a release.

While sedated for routine medical check-ups, In-Sync Exotics’ veterinarian per­formed a nasopharyngeal swab to test for the presence of COVID-19 in the cougar, and the results came back positive. Additionally, three tigers also tested positive, officials said. All four exotic cats are doing well and exhibiting no symp­toms. The cats are all being closely monitored by In-Sync Exotics’ veterinarian, staff, and volunteers.

While the cougar may be the first of its species, there have been many other tigers, lions and various other exotic ani­mals across the country that have also tested positive for COVID-19, officials said.

Safety measures, instituted at the beginning of the pan­demic, include mandatory face masks by all staff, volunteers, Sync and visitors over the age of three. Weekly COVID-19 testing is conducted on all staff members. In-Sync Exotics is an outdoor experience for all vis­itors, with two fences between visitors and the cats, and no di­rect contact is allowed.

No cases of transmission of the COVID-19 virus from fe­line to human or interspecies from feline to other species have been documented.

For more stories like this, see the Mar. 24 issue or subscribe online.

From Staff Reports • [email protected]

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