The spread of the coronavirus has reached so far that, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, a tiger was tested and received a positive test result for COVID-19 at a New York City Zoo.
The Malayan tiger, who is named Nadia, is believed to be the first known case of an animal being infected with COVID-19 in the United States. It is believed that Nadia and six other big cats were infected by an asymptomatic zookeeper at New York City’s Bronx Zoo. The test result was confirmed by the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa.
Nadia, a 4-year-old female tiger, along with her sister, Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions developed a dry cough and all are expected to recover.
In a written statement from the Wildlife Conservation Society, “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.”
It’s also been reported that none of the zoo’s other cats, including snow leopards, cheetahs, clouded leopard, Amur leopard, puma or serval are showing any signs of being infected by the COVID-19 illness. Appropriate preventive measures have been put in place for all remaining staff who are caring for the animals and the other cats in four Wildlife Conservation Society zoos in order to prevent further exposure of any other of our zoo cats.