From Iceland — This Is Not The Time To Get A Tiger

This Is Not The Time To Get A Tiger

Published April 7, 2020

Sam O'Donnell
Photo by
Wikimedia Commons / S. Taheri

In these strange times when the apocalypse is upon us, it may be tempting to keep a tiger as a pet. They’re cute, fuzzy, and good at killing intruders. Plus, think of all the apocalypse street cred you’ll have sitting on your throne of salvaged scrap metal, wearing your robes of repurposed clothing with a tiger at your feet. Not to mention, ‘Tiger King’ on Netflix is trending, so it stands to reason that now is as good a time as any to invest in the 300 kilo murder mittens.

However, you may want to rethink it, and go for something less susceptible to COVID-19. Over the weekend, it was reported that a tiger in the Bronx Zoo in New York had been identified with the Coronavirus. The animal was believed to have been infected by a guard at the park.

US officials recommended that people reduce their contact with their pets in order to limit the spread of the virus. The World Organisation for Animal Health says that there is no evidence to suggest that the disease can spread from cats and dogs to humans, but that anyone who is sick should take the same precautions with animals that they would with people.

Icelandic officials echoed these sentiments. Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason has been in contact with the National Food Authority in connection with whether animals have become infected. He pointed out that such a suggestion has not been thoroughly evaluated, and rate of infection among animals is rare and highly unusual, but not unheard of.

“Therefore, this might not be the best time to get a tiger right now,” he concluded.

As ever, those looking for more information or advice should go to the Icelandic Government’s excellent COVID-19 help page.

Tune into our daily COVID-Cast for a deeper dive into the day’s developments.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

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