Tiger in Bronx Zoo tests positive for Coronavirus

Nadia, a four year old female Malayan tiger, has tested positive for Covid-19 according to the Wildlife Conservation Society of the Bronx Zoo in the US. She, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions all developed a dry cough but are expected to recover.

This positive Covid-19 test for the tiger was confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory.

“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 the big cats have experienced some decrease in appetite, they are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers.”

The WCS informed the public it is not known how this disease will develop in big cats since different species can react differently to new infections, but the WCS 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.

None of the zoo’s snow leopards, cheetahs, clouded leopard, Amur leopard, puma or serval are showing any signs of illness.

“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.

There is no evidence that animals play a role in the transmission of Covid-19 to people other than the initial event in the Wuhan market, and no evidence that any person has been infected with Covid-19 by animals, including by pet dogs or cats.

SOURCE: Wildlife Conservation Society

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