Even A Snow Leopard At The San Diego Zoo Has COVID Now


Maggie Clancy

Who gave the snow leopard at the zoo COVID?!

Just when you thought you knew everything there is to know about COVID-19, the new Delta variant, and ways to keep yourself and your loved ones safe (vaccinate!), this happens. An unvaccinated snow leopard at the San Diego Zoo tested positive for COVID-19. Yes, a snow leopard.

A male snow leopard at the San Diego Zoo is suspected to have contracted SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Wildlife care specialists noticed the snow leopard was coughing and had nasal discharge, prompting the team to test for the virus. Results are pending at this time pic.twitter.com/GWLc6mygmw

— San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (@sandiegozoo) July 24, 2021

Ramil, a nine-year-old male snow leopard, had caretakers concerned when they noticed he had a cough and a runny nose on Thursday, July 22.

Zookeepers took two separate tests of Ramil’s stool and confirmed the presence of COVID-19, according to a statement made by the zoo the following day.

The snow leopard is being monitored closely and does not appear to have any major signs of illness other than the aforementioned symptoms. The origin of the possible exposure is still being investigated as we continue our contact tracing efforts. pic.twitter.com/pMNJcOfrJp

— San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (@sandiegozoo) July 24, 2021

Fortunately, Ramil and his habitat-mates — a female snow leopard and two Amur leopards — seem to be doing okay. Ramil’s symptoms haven’t worsened, and so far, the other three animals have remained safe in quarantine. The exhibit is closed as Ramil recovers and the rest of the animals stay in isolation from the rest of the zoo.

In an abundance of caution, the leopard habitat will be closed to Zoo visitors until further notice. We ask that you keep our snow leopard and the incredible team of dedicated wildlife care professionals and veterinarians who serve him in your thoughts during this time. pic.twitter.com/FDDOnZBbpy

— San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (@sandiegozoo) July 24, 2021

San Diego Zoo is unsure of how the snow leopard contracted the virus in the first place, as staff members are required to wear masks and use other PPE and sanitation precautions. Vaccination, however, is not required for the San Diego Zoo staff.

Ramil isn’t the first animal to contract COVID-19 at the San Diego Zoo. In January, eight gorillas at the zoo’s interactive Safari Park contracted the virus from an asymptomatic zookeeper.

The gorillas’ infection, in conjunction with Ramil’s COVID-19 case, had the zoo again requesting experimental COVID-19 vaccinations for animals most prone to catching the virus — large cats and primates — for emergency use.

A win for science: our partners at @Zoetis, a veterinary pharmaceutical company, developed a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) that we used to vaccinate great apes at the Zoo. The vaccine was created specifically for animals. @NatGeo https://t.co/ZpM5QVD4pl

— San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (@sandiegozoo) March 5, 2021

Again, the animals made a full recovery, but like humans, we still don’t know all of the long-term effects of contracting COVID-19. Some people who have had the virus have experienced elevated heart rates for months after infection, chronic lung issues, and other ailments associated with what people are calling “Long COVID,” or Post Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC). Long COVID can affect nearly any organ in the body, have a wide and varying range of symptoms, and testing long after the initial infection doesn’t always link the lasting symptoms to COVID-19.

Great news! Our gorilla troop has made a full recovery from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. Starting today, our guests can once again connect with these primates and learn ways they can help save this important species. https://t.co/phlrubBPhr pic.twitter.com/Gpjdxy8UAY

— San Diego Zoo Safari Park (@sdzsafaripark) February 13, 2021

Vaccinating can also help keep you and your pets safe from contracting the virus, though Dr. Anthony Fauci explained in a town hall for kids that they shouldn’t be afraid to go near their pets and can still “give your pet a big hug” and not worry about being dangerous to them.

In the meantime, make sure to be wearing a mask in public, whether you are interacting with wild animals or not, because just like Ramil, the people around you can catch COVID-19 from anyone unvaccinated, even if they aren’t showing symptoms. Let’s keep everyone safe, people and animals alike.

See the original article on ScaryMommy.com

Whale caught on sandbar after giving birth saved by beachgoers

Residents saving mother whale (Credit: Phebe Armas) PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. (WPDE) —

by Julia Varnier Friday, July 23rd 2021

A Pawleys Island beachgoer said a mother whale who recently gave birth was caught on a sandbar Thursday afternoon. 

The whale’s pup was fine and members of her pod were surrounding her to protect her from nearby sharks due to some blood in the water.  https://ec699d73901d1a68d70a4a03267e0f90.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

Several people were able to roll her back out to safety. 

READ MORE: Boater untangles what could be world’s rarest turtle from balloon litter off East Coast : View This Story on Our Site


DOJ Drops Cases Against Five Visiting Chinese Researchers Accused Of Lying About Ties To China Military


Jeffrey Cawood

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has reportedly dropped cases against five visiting researchers from China accused of lying about their ties to the Chinese military.

The Wall Street Journal described the move as “a major setback to a landmark effort to root out alleged Chinese intelligence gathering in the U.S.”

According to the outlet, federal prosecutors said in court documents filed late Thursday and Friday that “they would no longer pursue visa fraud and other charges against the scientists, including biomedical and cancer researchers in California and a doctoral candidate studying artificial intelligence in Indiana.”

The WSJ reported: “The academics had been arrested last July in an FBI sweep that began after another researcher, Wang Xin, acknowledged to law enforcement – as he tried to leave the U.S. – that he had lied about his military service on his visa application to boost his chances of gaining admission to the U.S., and had been tasked with bringing back some information by a supervisor.” He had worked in a lab at the University of California-San Francisco.

Dr. Juan Tang, 38, another visiting researcher at the University of California-Davis, was set to go on trial in Sacramento on Monday. After her case was formally dropped on Friday, “Tang had her GPS ankle bracelet removed, her Chinese passport returned and she headed toward a flight home to see her mother, husband and 9-year-old daughter for the first time in a year,” according to the Sacramento Bee. The outlet reported, “The motion by Assistant U.S. Attorney Heiko Coppola gave no reason for seeking the dismissal, and acting U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert declined to comment.”

According to the WSJ, “Judges had dismissed parts of the cases against Ms. Tang and another researcher in recent weeks after finding that FBI agents hadn’t properly informed them of their rights against self-incrimination when interviewing them.”

“In all of our prosecutions, the Department of Justice evaluates the merits of a case as it prepares for trial,” said DOJ spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle. “Recent developments in a handful of cases involving defendants with alleged, undisclosed ties to the People’s Liberation Army of the People’s Republic of China have prompted the Department to re-evaluate these prosecutions, and we have determined that it is now in the interest of justice to dismiss them.”

“The Department continues to place a very high priority on countering the threat posed to American research security and academic integrity by the PRC government’s agenda and policies,” Hornbuckle continued.

The other accused researchers included Chen Song, a neurologist who had been at Stanford University; Guan Lei, a researcher in artificial intelligence at UCLA; and Zhao Kaikai, an artificial intelligence doctoral student at Indiana University.

According to officials, soon after the State Department claimed to have evidence that showed Chinese consulates assisting the visiting scientists last year, more than 1,000 Chinese military-affiliated researchers left the United States.

Related: Group Trying To Convince Asians That America Is Oppressive Has Ties To Chinese State Media

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