On Sunday, the United States Department of Agriculture confirmed that a tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the coronavirus. In a release, the USDA stated, “This is the first instance of a tiger being infected with COVID-19.”
Testing was performed after several tigers at the zoo showed signs of an upper respiratory illness. The agency believes that the tiger contracted the virus from a zoo employee. The release explains:
Public health officials believe these large cats became sick after being exposed to a zoo employee who was actively shedding virus. The zoo has been closed to the public since mid-March, and the first tiger began showing signs of sickness on March 27. All of these large cats are expected to recover. There is no evidence that other animals in other areas of the zoo are showing symptoms.
NBC New York reports that the infected cat is a four-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia. According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, there are six other large cats showing signs of the illness. In a release, the zoo stated:
“Though they have experienced some decrease in appetite, the cats at the Bronx Zoo are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers.”
The New York Daily News reports that the tiger is the first animal in the United States to test positive for the virus.
(Stock image of tiger via Pixabay)
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