Coronavirus Outbreak: Four tigers, three lions test positive at US zoo

Updated: Apr 23, 2020, 12:21 IST | IANS | New York

The first big cat, a four-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia, developed a dry cough and loss of appetite in late March, while her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions also showed the same symptoms

This picture has been used for representation purpose
This picture has been used for representation purpose

Four tigers and three lions have tested COVID-19 positive at the Bronx Zoo in New York, authorities announced, weeks after a Malayan tiger at the facility was confirmed positive and six other big cats were said to be exhibiting similar symptoms. On April 5, the Wildlife Conservation Society that runs the New York zoo, reported that one tiger had tested positive for the new coronavirus, the first known COVID-19 infection found in a big cat, reports Efe news.

The first big cat, a four-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia, developed a dry cough and loss of appetite in late March, while Nadia's sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions also showed the same symptoms. "We can confirm that the three other tigers in Tiger Mountain and the three African lions that exhibited a cough have also tested positive for COVID-19," the zoo said in a statement on Wednesday.

The test was done by using a faecal sample so that the animals did not have to be placed under anesthesia, as with the Malayan tiger. "The faecal tests confirmed our suspicion that all seven cats had the infection, and also determined that one tiger at Tiger Mountain that never developed a cough was also positive for the disease," it added. The wildlife centre said that "all eight cats continue to do well. They are behaving normally, eating well, and their coughing is greatly reduced".

"We tested the tigers and lions 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," said the zoo officials. "The testing of these cats was done in veterinary laboratories and resources used did not take from those being used for human testing," they added.

It is still believed that the animals were infected by an asymptomatic staff member who had contact with the animals before developing symptoms. As of Wednesday, two pet cats in New York state have tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first domestic animal cases detected in the US. Both animals live in different areas of New York state, the current epicentre of the pandemic not only in the US but worldwide.

They have mild respiratory problems and are expected to recover soon, according to a statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Veterinary Services Laboratories of the Department of Agriculture.

Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates.

Mid-Day is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@middayinfomedialtd) and stay updated with the latest news

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.com

Subscribe
This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK