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Caldwell Zoo staff minimizes risk with animal Covid protection methods

Some of the more important things are ensuring the optimal nutrition and housing of these animals and preventative medicine to keep them as healthy as possible.

TYLER, Texas — While Covid has spread through the human population over the last two years, how has it affected the animal population?

Tyler‘s Caldwell Zoo has not had any Covid cases among the animals, so our very own Alan Kasper visits to find out what they’re doing to keep their animals safe.

"At this point we haven’t had a need to test because we haven’t had any animals with symptoms consistent with Covid," said Caldwell Zoo Consulting Veterinarian Ann Buchanan. "We are prepared for an outbreak if it occurs, but thankfully we haven’t had to face that yet. We have a lot of exhibits that were already distanced from the public."

Buchanan discusses preventative measures the Caldwell Zoo staff takes to ensure the safety of the animals.

"Biosecurity has always been a top priority out here, so we did have to change just a few things for this additional threat, but a lot of our risk mitigation steps have been in place already. Some of the more important ones are ensuring the optimal nutrition and housing of these animals and preventative medicine to keep them as healthy as possible," said Buchanan.

The consulting vet explains how the exceptional animal care staff here is the most important factor because they know their animals, they are vigilant for any changes, and they alert her to anything that might be a warning sign.

"If we have an animal that has any kind of symptoms or even is off its food, acting abnormal, acting lethargic, or not behaving normally, that just turns everybody’s attention to the animal as well as the animals around it, because of close contact," she added.

The administration supplies the tools while the animal care staff provides the information. Buchanan is then prepared to respond, but fortunately for her zoo, they have yet to be tested this way.

Buchanan adds, "Covid cases in animals have only been reported in mammals and they can only spread from humans to animals, not from animals to humans or to other animals."