Tiger at Bronx Zoo in New York City Tests Positive for COVID-19 Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has almost reached every corner of the globe, affecting and infecting humans and animals alike. It has infected over 1,275,800 people with over 69,500 dead. In the recent light of events, a tiger has tested positive for coronavirus at the Bronx Zoo in New York City, while six other big cats are showing symptoms of the illness.
The animals were probably infected by a zoo employee who was an asymptomatic patient. The zoo has been closed to visitors since March 16.
According to the zoo officials,
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.
Many domestic animals had earlier been tested positive for the disease, including a Pomeranian and a German shepherd in Hong Kong, and a domestic cat in Belgium.
In late March, the four-year-old Malayan tiger, Nadia developed a dry cough and was tested positive for the virus on April 2. Nadia’s sister, two Siberian tigers, and three African lions have also had coughs and a loss of appetite, though they have not been tested. The zoo has the seven cats under veterinary care and expects them to recover.
According to Paul Calle, chief veterinarian for the Bronx Zoo, this is all completely new, so there are many unanswered questions, including whether tigers and lions are more susceptible to coronavirus than other animals.
However, none of the zoo’s other big cats, including snow leopards, cheetahs, a clouded leopard, an Amur leopard, and a puma are showing any symptoms of coronavirus.