COVID-19 is more widespread in animals than we thought
From lions and tigers to big hairy armadillos, a growing number of animals have been infected with the coronavirus. Here’s what we’ve learned.
We think of COVID-19 as a human pandemic, but it’s much more than that. The virus that causes the disease, SARS-CoV-2, can infect a wide and growing range of animals, both captive and wild.
So far, the virus has been detected in more than a hundred domestic cats and dogs, as well as captive tigers, lions, gorillas, snow leopards, otters, and spotted hyenas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Zoo staff in the U.S. have recorded a single positive case in a binturong, coati, cougar, domestic ferret, fishing cat, lynx, mandrill, and squirrel monkey.
In the United States, only three wild species—mink, mule deer, and white-tailed deer—have tested positive, according to the USDA. Cases have been detected elsewhere in