Tiger In New York Zoo Tests Positive For Coronavirus
New York: In an unexpected twist to the raging pandemic, a tiger at Bronx Zoo in the corona-ravaged city has tested positive for SARS CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.
Nadia, the Malayan tiger, is the first big cat to be infected by the virus, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services laboratories said. She was tested after some of the tigers and lions in the zoo showed signs of respiratory illness. They are suspected to have contracted the virus from an infected zoo-keeper,
Zoo authorities said Nadia, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions, had developed a dry cough. Since the animals must be put under general anaesthesia to receive the test, the attending veterinarian decided not to test the other animals, according to USDA. All of them are expected to recover, the agency said.
Earlier, a team of Chinese researchers had revealed that cats are susceptible to contracting the coronavirus. They said cats could pass it on to other cats as well while maintaining that animals like dogs and pigs and hens were less vulnerable to the virus. The study came in the wake of a cat in Belgium testing positive for coronavirus last week, after catching it from its infected owner.
A Pomeranian and a German shepherd in Hong Kong had also grabbed headlines by getting infected with the virus.