The Los Angeles Zoo became aware yesterday that a tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for COVID-19. Samples from this tiger were taken and tested after several lions and tigers at the zoo showed symptoms of respiratory illness. As a fellow member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), our thoughts are with the Bronx Zoo as they care for their felines that have been impacted and bring them to a full recovery.
Upon hearing this news, the L.A. Zoo immediately set protocols in place for every cat species in our care, initiating the use of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves and social distancing with these animals. The L.A. Zoo already practices these safety measures with our primate, binturong, and mustelid species. The L.A. Zoo will not be testing any of our felid, primate, binturong, or mustelid species at this time because none of them are showing any COVID-19 related symptoms. In addition, the USDA is not recommending routine testing of animals for this virus. Because the situation is ever-evolving, public and animal health officials may decide to test certain animals out of an abundance of caution. The decision to test any of our animals will be made collaboratively between local, state, or federal public and animal health officials and the Zoo’s animal health experts.
The health and safety of the Zoo’s animals is our top priority. Our animal health experts on staff are in communication with public health officials, along with local, national, and international veterinary networks, to stay up-to-date on animals in human care and any potential risks.
About the Los Angeles Zoo
Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing more than 1.8 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,400 animals representing 270 different species, 58 of which are endangered. Its lush grounds on 133 acres feature various plant species from around the world and California including many rare and endangered species. The Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Admission is $22 for adults and $17 for children ages 2 to 12. The Zoo is currently closed to the public through April 19. For information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the L.A. Zoo website at lazoo.org.