#COVID19: Bronx Zoo Tiger Tests Positive

April 6, 2020
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A 4-year-old Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the COVID-19 bug after developing a dry cough, the New York Post quoted the Wildlife Conservation Society as saying in a statement Sunday.

According to the statement: “Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, has tested positive for COVID-19. She, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions had developed a dry cough and all are expected to recover.”

The diagnosis was confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa “out of an abundance of caution,” the society said.

The WSC said the big cats are on the mend.

The statement read: “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 big cats are housed in the zoo’s Tiger Mountain exhibit.

None of the other cats at the zoo, which includes leopards, cheetahs, and pumas, have shown symptoms, the society said.

Zoo officials said they hope Nadia’s diagnosis “will ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus.”

The zoo has been closed since March 16 due to the spread of the virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, animals can become infected by the coronavirus, but scientists don’t believe they can spread the bug to humans.

In the United States, there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets, livestock, or wildlife, might be a source of COVID019 infection at this time,” according to the CDC.

“However, because all animals can carry germs that can make people sick, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals,” the agency notes.

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