A tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for Covid-19. Six other tigers and lions are also showing symptoms. The animals were believed to have been infected by an asymptomatic zoo worker.
The tiger, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger named Nadia, developed a dry cough and a decrease in appetite. She was tested out of an abundance of caution, and the results were confirmed by the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa, the society said.
Her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions also showed coronavirus symptoms, but all of the cats, including Nadia, are expected to recover.
The zoo said the cats were infected by a person caring for them who had COVID-19 but was asymptomatic or had not yet developed symptoms.
“Appropriate preventive measures are now in place for all staff who are caring for them, and the other cats in our four WCS zoos, to prevent further exposure of any other of our zoo cats,” the Wildlife Conservation Society, the parent company of the Bronx Zoo, said in a statement.
It is unknown how the disease develops in big cats. There is also no evidence that animals can infect people with the virus.
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