Tiger in US zoo tests positive for coronavirus
New York, Apr 06: In what is believed to be the first known case, a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City has tested positive for the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Nadia, the 4-year-old Malayan tiger that tested positive, was screened for the COVID-19 disease after developing a dry cough along with three other tigers and three lions, the Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages the zoo, said in a statement. All of the cats are expected to recover, it said.
The animals samples were taken and tested after the tiger -- and five other tigers and lions at the zoo -- began showing symptoms of respiratory illness, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Reportedly, no other animals at the zoo are showing symptoms.
The first animal started showing symptoms March 27, and all are doing well and expected to recover, said the zoo, which has been closed to the public since March 16 amid the surging coronavirus outbreak in New York.
There have been a handful of reports outside the U.S. of pet dogs or cats becoming infected after close contact with contagious people, including a Hong Kong dog that tested positive for a low level of the pathogen in February and early March.
But, this case is unique as Nadia became sick after exposure to an asymptomatic zoo employee.