In a first, a tiger has been tested positive for the coronavirus at a zoo in New York. The 4-year-old tiger named Nadia, along with six other tigers at the Bronx Zoo developed a dry cough. In a statement released from the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, their Malayan tiger had contracted the infection but all of them are expected to fully recover. Also Read - Can You Catch Coronavirus From Fruits And Vegetables? Know The Truth
According to the researches done by the doctors all across the world and the Chinese disease control officials, there has been no evidence to show that animals are potential carriers of the coronavirus. However, they can get a mild infection from human beings. As per a statement released by the US Department of Agriculture, Nadia is the first case of an animal contracting COVID-19 in the US. They confirmed the news on their official website and also answered the related questions. “The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories has confirmed SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans) in one tiger at a zoo in New York. This is the first instance of a tiger being infected with COVID-19. Samples from this tiger were taken and tested after several lions and tigers at the zoo showed symptoms of respiratory illness,” USDA mentioned in their official statement.
Even though six big cats developed the symptoms of the COVID-19, only one was tested and found positive. It is believed that Nadia got the infection after being exposed to a zoo employee ‘who was actively shedding the virus.’ The Bronx zoo in New York has been shut since mid-March. “This is the first case of its kind. We are still learning about this new coronavirus and how it spreads. This case suggests that a zoo employee spread the virus to the tiger,” the department further mentioned in its confirmation report.
The US Department of Agriculture also confirmed that they have not seen any other animal in the zoo showing the symptoms. However, more care will be taken considering SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is still pretty unknown and it’s still growing while reacting differently to different individuals.
The department also appealed to the people to stay away from their pets and livestock if they are infected with the virus and let other people take care of them until their recovery.