BATON ROUGE, LA (BR-PROUD) – Mike the Tiger’s caretakers are being extra cautious during the coronavirus pandemic.
This after a tiger at a zoo in New York contracted COVID-19 from a zoo employee.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories, this is the first instance where an animal has been infected with the virus.
Experts say more information and studies are needed to determine how the virus spreads, and if it can be spread to tigers.
In light of the recent findings, caretakers of Mike the Tiger say they are taking extra precautions to make sure the mascot is protected.
In a Facebook post, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine said they are monitoring the tiger closely.
According to the post, over three weeks ago staff implemented standard operating procedures in response to the pandemic. This means that staff discontinued direct contact with the tiger. The change was made out of an abundance of caution, just in case tigers do become susceptible to COVID-19.
Mike’s caretakers also wear gloves and masks while working in his habitat.
Due to the stay at home order, caretakers are encouraging fans and spectators to not visit Mike on campus. You can now view a live feed of Mike here.