A tiger at New York’s Bronx Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19 and is believed to have contracted the virus from a caretaker who was asymptomatic at the time.
The Wildlife Conservation Society that runs the city’s zoos said that the four-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia along with her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions all developed dry coughs and are expected to fully recover.
It is not known how this disease will develop in big cats since different species can react differently to novel infections, but the zoo will continue to monitor them closely and anticipate full recoveries.
All the four zoos and the aquarium in New York have been closed since March 16. The zoo emphasised that there is no evidence that animals play a role in the transmission of COVID-19 to people other than the initial event in the Wuhan market.
It also said that there is no evidence that any person has been infected with COVID-19 in the US by animals, including by pet dogs or cats. In late March, a pet cat was discovered infected with the novel coronavirus in Belgium, following similar cases in Hong Kong where two dogs tested positive for COVID-19.