Polar bear death gives insight into ‘species-jumping’ diseases

A zebra herpes virus has been linked to the mystery death of a polar bear in a German zoo in 2010 and could provide fresh insight into species-jumping diseases.

A University of Sydney study found the polar bear tested positive to the virus, despite having no direct contact with the zebra’s zookeepers or enclosure.

A polar bear in a separate zoo also tested positive to the virus, suggesting this is not the first time the virus has jumped independently.

Dr Simon Ho said the research has important implications for Australian zoos, whose staff are already dealing with the complex task of detecting pathogens.

Read more at University of Sydney