A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City has tested positive to coronavirus
The tiger was tested for the virus after several of the zoo’s lions and tigers started showing signs of respiratory illness, according to the USDA. The agency expects all of the big cats to recover.
The tiger, Nadia, was exposed by a zoo worker who wasn’t yet showing symptoms, the zoo said “appropriate preventative measures” have been implemented to care for the cats and minimize further exposure.”
Six other big cats at the zoo are being tested after showing symptoms, including Nadia’s sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions.
This is believed to be the first known infection in an animal in the U.S. or the first tiger anywhere in the World.
The big cats did have some decrease in appetite but “are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers”, it said
The COVID-19 testing that twas performed on our Malayan tiger Nadia was performed in a veterinary school laboratory and is not the same test as is used for people,”
All the tigers showing symptoms were housed in the zoo’s Tiger Mountain area. It is unclear if the others will be tested.
All four zoos run by the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York City, including the Bronx Zoo, have been closed to the public since 16 March. New measures will now be put in place to protect the animals and their caretakers at all the facilities