While dealing with lockdowns and keeping the business alive, the Ballarat Wildlife Park always has another issue in the back of its mind.
Some of the parks favourite wildlife are actually at risk of catching COVID-19 from humans, particularly its tigers and meerkats.
The virus has been known to pass from humans to animals, especially big cats and primates, with cases being found in lions and tigers at zoos in the United States, including the Bronx Zoo in New York.
Australian Veterinary Association head of veterinary and public affairs Dr Cristy Secombe said as a zoonotic disease, COVID-19 could pass from animals to humans and from humans to animals.
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"In the case of COVID-19, it appears that humans, in rare cases, can transmit COVID-19 to animals and there are certain animals which are more predisposed to this and they tend to be of the cat species, particularly the big cats," she said.
"In Australia though, there's been no evidence of human to animal transmission within Australia that we know of.
"It is more common in those larger cats which we see and they interact with humans in zoo environments, so that's why it tends to be more common in zoos because that's where there's a human to animal interaction in that species."
According to the federal agriculture department, the virus has not been reported in domestic animals, pets or livestock, or wildlife in Australia and there is no evidence of transmission from domestic animals to people.
The only animal to human transmission has been reported in farmed mink in American and Europe.
Dr Secombe said coronaviruses, of which COVID-19 is one, were not uncommon in animals and those with COVID could present with similar symptoms to humans or completely differently depending on the species.
Ballarat Wildlife Park managing director Greg Parker said while its animals were safe in their outdoor enclosures, the issue was still a concern.
"It is possible that they can contract it but, of course, all of our animals are outdoors which is a big thing in our favour, it keeps them fairly safe," he said.
"We take the approach that with careful management, as we do normally for our family and these are part of our family we're protecting, our protocols at the gate and our protocols in working with them, we use just normal hygiene associated with COVID recommendations from the health department as suitable for our wildlife," he said.
"We take our leads from aged care, we treat them like they're elderly patients. We just give them the very best care we can and make sure our protocols around those are similar to working with aged care.
"It's always in the back of our mind but there's all sorts of things we manage with the animals and I guess we've got a good setup here because we've got a full time veterinarian who's specialises in wildlife and that helps us a lot."
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