Tiger Tests Positive for Coronavirus at Bronx Zoo


A Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19 but is expected to recover, according to an announcement released on Sunday by the Wildlife Conservation Society at the New York zoo

“Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, has tested positive for COVID-19. She, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions had developed a dry cough and all are expected to recover,” the statement read. “We tested the cat out of an abundance of caution and will ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus.” 

The tiger’s positive coronavirus test was confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory. 

Further, the statement also described the animal’s symptoms, citing that though they have experienced some appetite loss, “the cats at the Bronx Zoo are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers.”

While it is not yet known how COVID-19 will develop in big cats since different species can react differently to novel infections, the Wildlife Conservation Society stated that they will “continue to monitor them closely and anticipate full recoveries.”

According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, the six cats that were infected by a person caring for them who was asymptomatically infected with the coronavirus or prior to that person developing symptoms. 

“Appropriate preventative measures are now in place for all staff who are caring for them, and the other cats… to prevent further exposure to any other of our zoo cats,” the statement read.

New York City’s zoos and aquarium has been closed since March 16. 

Watch NBC News Special Report: Coronavirus Pandemic Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on NBC, MSNBC and NBC News NOW. For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov.

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