The Wildlife Conservation Society has reported a COVID-19 case at the Bronx zoo as a 4-year old Malaya tiger tested positive to the virus.
The tiger Nadia, her sister Azul, three African lions and two other Amur tigers developed dry cough but are all expected to recover. The diagnosis was confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa, USA.
“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,” the statement said. “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 society says none of the other wild cats housed at the zoo have exhibited symptoms. However, zoo officials say they hope this diagnosis “will ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, animals can become carriers of the coronavirus but scientists don’t believe they can spread the disease to humans.