Wildlife Conservation Society
Wildlife Conservation Society
  • A four-year-old female tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City tested positive for Covid-19, the coronavirus disease.
  • A caretaker at the zoo was infected but asymptomatic and infected the tiger.
  • The zoo says the tigers have decreased appetites but are expected to recover.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

In a suspected human to animal transmission, a tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for Covid-19, the coronavirus disease.

Nadia, a four-year-old female tiger at the zoo tested positive, and the diagnosis was confirmed by the USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratory, based in Ames, Iowa. The Wildlife Conservation Society said that Nadia, three other tigers, and three African lions have developed dry coughs and decreased appetite, but are expected to recover. None of the zoo's other big cats, including tigers in another area of the zoo, have shown any coronavirus symptoms.

The cats were infected by a caretaker who had Covid-19 but was asymptomatic, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. They don't yet know how the virus develops or affects big cats. The zoo has implemented preventative measures to prevent exposure in other cats. Nadia was tested out of "an abundance of caution" after symptoms started on March 27, the zoo said, and it hopes that any information gained will contribute to the world's understanding of the virus, which has infected more than a million people around the world.

There is no evidence that animals can spread Covid-19 to people, the USDA said in a statement, but the CDC is recommending that people with the virus avoid contact with pets and other animals.

While there have not been reports of pets getting sick with the coronavirus in the US, the USDA and CDC say that they will continue to monitor the situation, but don't recommend testing other animals at this time.

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