In what many thought was not possible, a tiger, who resides at the Bronx Zoo in the US, have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan Tiger, was tested for the coronavirus after she developed a dry cough.
The Wildlife Conservation Society confirmed that tests were done on the tiger.
Azul, the sister of Nadia, 2 Amur Tigers, and 3 African lions have also been experiencing the same symptom.
All of the animals are expected to recover.
The tests were reportedly carried out by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory.
A statement, which confirmed the news, was released by the Wildlife Conservation Society.
In the statement, the Wildlife Conservation Society said:
“We tested the cat out of an abundance of caution and will ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus. 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. It is not known how this disease will develop in big cats since different species can react differently to novel infections, but we will continue to monitor them closely and anticipate full recoveries. The four affected tigers live in the zoo’s Tiger Mountain exhibit. One male Amur tiger that also lives at Tiger Mountain has not exhibited any clinical signs, and a Malayan tiger and two Amur tigers at the zoo’s Wild Asia exhibit have also not exhibited any clinical signs.”
Luckily none of the other animals at the zoo showed any symptoms of the virus.
The Bronx Zoo is home to snow leopards, cheetahs, clouded leopard, Amur leopard, and pumas.
The Wildlife Society says the animals got infected because one of the workers that were taking care of them was carrying the virus.
The statement added:
“Our cats were infected by a person caring for them who was asymptomatically infected with the virus or before that person developed symptoms. Appropriate preventive measures are now in place for all staff who are caring for them, and the other cats in our four WCS zoos, to prevent further exposure of any other of our zoo cats. We are grateful for the cooperation and support of the New York State Diagnostic Laboratory at Cornell University and the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, where the initial COVID-19 testing of samples from the tiger were performed; the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory where confirmatory testing was conducted; USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; and the New York and Illinois State Veterinarians and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for their assistance.”
Let’s all hope the animals recover fast from the virus.