A snow leopard died of COVID-19 at the Illinois zoo.

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source: theguardian.com

A snow leopard died of COVID-19 at the Illinois zoo.

Experts explained that most infections in animals are caused by contact with humans.

An 11-year-old snow leopard died this week after contracting COVID-19 at a Bloomington, Illinois zoo.

The Miller Park Zoo announced Rilu's death last Thursday, detailing that the animal "began to cough and have harsh breathing on November 20."

"Rilu's personality and beauty will be missed by guests and staff but will not be forgotten," said Superintendent Jay Tetzloff, highlighting the animal's spectacular tail, which was almost as long as its body.

The zoo also noted that Rilu left behind seven young that are now part of his Species Survival Plan. "He made Miller Park Zoo one of the world's leading institutions in the production of snow leopard cubs," explained a zoo post on Instagram, adding that Rilu arrived there in 2011 from the city's zoo. from Oklahoma.

In July, the Oakland and Denver zoos announced that they would begin vaccinating tigers, bears, and other mammals with a two-dose vaccine.

Reports from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that Most COVID.19 infections in animals are caused by contact with humans, "Including owners, caretakers or others in close contact." The CDC lists companion animals among the most vulnerable - such as cats, dogs, and ferrets - and various types of big cats.

Photographer Joel Sartore, who on several occasions captured Rilu's imposing presence with his camera, paid tribute to her in an Instagram post. "Snow leopards are proving to be extremely susceptible to the disease, and it is often fatal. If you have not been vaccinated and boosted yet, please do so. More than human lives are at stake. Thank you", he warned.

In December, three snow leopards from the Lincoln Children's Zoo in Nebraska died of complications from COVID-19. Two Sumatran tigers recovered.

In July, the Oakland and Denver zoos announced that they would begin vaccinating tigers, bears, and other mammals with a two-dose vaccine.

Zoetis, a New Jersey animal health company, donated more than 11,000 vaccines to nearly 70 zoos and wildlife sanctuaries as part of an effort authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture.