‘Tiger King’ star warns zoos could put animals at risk of coronavirus
A zoo worker featured in the “Tiger King” documentary warns that many big cats are in danger of catching coronavirus since most zoos cannot protect their animals from outbreaks, according to a report.
Saff Saffery, who worked at Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, said there are not sufficient safeguards for the animals at most zoos and sanctuaries despite several big cats testing positive last month for the virus at the Bronx Zoo.
“Unless there is a licensed staff of veterinarians to individually care for these animals at proper protocol levels, it’s impossible to prevent,” Saffery told NBC News.
Saffery said the workers feeding and caring for them without protective equipment also puts them at risk.
“The livelihood of these animals is in the hands of the humans who care for them,” he said. “So because it’s a give-and-take relationship, they need to operate together. These zoos have no choice but to go out and tend to these animals directly, one on one, every day.”
Five tigers and three lions tested positive for COVID-19 after showing symptoms, including a cough, at the Bronx Zoo.
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