Nadia, a 4-year-old female tiger at the Bronx Zoo, tested positive for the coronavirus. The Malayan tiger got tested after developing a dry cough. The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo said that she is expected to recover soon.
Samples from Nadia were taken after she and the other five tigers and lions at the zoo began developing symptoms of respiratory illness, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“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,” said the zoo. “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” they continued.
However, no other animals at the facility have experienced symptoms.
One of the zoo employees, who had the virus and was taking care of the animals, is said to have transmitted the COVID-19 to the big cats. He was an asymptomatic carrier of the virus, which meant that he didn’t even know he had it.
Dr. Paul Calle, the chief veterinarian at the zoo, said that the test performed on the cats is not the same as that used on humans.
The Bronx Zoo closed on March 16th, long before the tiger was discovered to be positive for coronavirus.
Anyone sick with the virus is advised to minimize contact with animals, including pets, until further information about how the virus affects animals is discovered.
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