New York Zoo Tiger has tested positive for coronavirus


Tiger tested positive for coronavirus in Bronx Zoo, New York :

Tigers are know to be the big cats.. They are the first known case of a non-domestic animal with the coronavirus symptoms (COVID-19 ) – and it’s one of 7 sick tigers at the New York zoo.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this on Sunday afternoon.

“This is the first time, as far as we know, that a [wild] animal has fallen ill from COVID-19 from a person,” said Paul Calle, chief veterinarian of the Bronx Zoo. The Malayan tiger, named Nadia, apparently contracted the coronavirus from an infected – but unknown – asymptomatic zookeeper. “It’s the only thing that makes sense,” said Calle. The zoo has been closed to visitors since March 16th.

Previously, several domestic animals had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, including Pomeranian and a German shepherd in Hong Kong, and a domestic cat in Belgium.

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Cats, both wild and domestic, are susceptible to contracting coronavirus, but until recently, it was unknown whether they could contract SARS-CoV-2. A new Chinese study and research has found that cats could infect one another, and scientists are rushing to learn what other species might be infected by it.

The First in the world at the Bronx Zoo

After developing a dry cough in late March, four-year-old Malayan tiger Nadia was tested for the virus on April 2, according to Calle. Nadia’s sister, two Siberian tigers, and three African lions have also had a cough and loss of appetite, though they have not been tested.

Tiger in New York Zoo has tested positive for coronavirus
Security stands at the entrance of the Bronx Zoo where ambulances are parked on Friday, April 3rd, 2020, in the Bronx borough of New York. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more serious illness or death.

The zoo has the seven cats in veterinary care and expects them to improve, Calle said, though the Wildlife Conservation Society, the nonprofit that runs the Bronx Zoo, warned in a news release that It is unknown how the disease might develop in animals.

When Nadia started showing symptoms, the veterinary team did a number of diagnostic tests and blood work. “Given what is happening in New York City, of course we did the COVID tests,” said Calle.

The team took samples at the zoo, after quieting Nadia. They sent the samples for testing to the State of New York Diagnostic Laboratory at Cornell University and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

It’s not the same kind of test that healthcare providers give people, Calle says, “so there is no competition for testing between these very different situations.”

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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 new coronavirus to humans. (It is thought that the virus that infects humans is likely to develop from a closely related coronavirus found in bats.)

What’s next?

It’s all completely new, Calle says, so there are many unanswered questions, including whether tigers and lions are more susceptible to coronavirus than other animals. None of the zoo’s other big cats, including snow leopards, cheetahs, cloudy leopards, Amur leopards, and puma show symptoms.

Zookeepers across the country have been making extra efforts to protect large apes in their care, as great apes can easily catch respiratory diseases from humans. Experts have warned that they may be particularly susceptible to coronavirus.



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REF: National Geographic

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