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ZooWorld keeping animals safe and healthy during COVID-19 pandemic

Officials say they’ve found a way to limit exposure, while still giving the proper quality of care the animals need. (WJHG/WECP)
Officials say they’ve found a way to limit exposure, while still giving the proper quality of care the animals need. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: Apr. 8, 2020 at 7:56 PM CDT
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Zookeepers at ZooWorld in Panama City Beach say they’re doing everything they can to keep their animals safe and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak.

ZooWorld's Curator of Animal Care Erika Newell said, “The care of the animals has not fallen back in any way; we are just taking extra precautions to make sure they receive the best care each and every day.”

Newell says after a tiger in a New York zoo tested positive for coronavirus, they’re keeping a closer eye on the big cats and all their animals.

“Of course it’s a concern now that it’s stretched across zoonotic species but we’re not overly concerned about that at this time,” said Newell. “However, we are taking extra precautions just in case. We always want to keep our animals safe and their welfare is a priority.”

Newell says they’ve found a way to limit exposure while still giving the proper quality of care the animals need.

She said, “So we’ve broken off into two teams, and they do not cross over. We only ever have two different people working with the animals, but they’re never even working with them at the same time. So by mitigating who’s interacting with those animals and keeping our teams separate, we’re doing as much as we possibly can to make sure there’s no spread.”

In the meantime, while the zoo is closed to the public, officials say they’re making headway on a new lion habitat.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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