Tiger tests positive for covid 19
A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, and six other big cats are exhibiting symptoms consistent with the illness.
The Malayan tiger, named Nadia, likely contracted the coronavirus from an infected—but unknown—asymptomatic zookeeper. The zoo has been closed to visitors since March 16.
After developing a dry cough in late March, the four-year-old Malayan tiger, Nadia, was tested 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.
Several domestic animals had previously tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, including a Pomeranian and a German shepherd in Hong Kong, a domestic cat in Belgium.
Cats, both wild and domestic, are susceptible to feline coronavirus, but until recently, it was unknown whether they could contract SARS-CoV-2. A new Chinese study has found that cats may be able to infect each other, and scientists are rushing to learn what other species may be able to be infected by it.
However, according to the USDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is currently no evidence that domestic or captive wild animals can spread the novel coronavirus to people.