A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City has been tested positive for COVID-19. It is known that this is the first case to happen whereby an animal is infected by a human. The 4-year-old Malayan tiger, named Nadia seems to have contracted the virus from its (unknown) caretaker. Upon developing dry coughs, Nadia along with her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions, were all been tested positive after being screened for the COVID-19 disease.
According to Paul Calle, chief veterinarian for the Bronx Zoo, “It’s the first time, to our knowledge, that a (wild) animal has gotten sick from COVID-19 from a person.” All because the zoo has been closed since March 16 and it only makes sense that the tiger was infected by someone who was working closely with it.
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, and no evidence that any person has been infected with COVID-19 in the US by animals, including by pet dogs or cats,” reported NST.
As we all are aware that this respiratory disease is caused by the novel coronavirus that is spread from animals to humans. Studies have shown that cats (wild and domestic) are likely to be affected by the feline coronavirus. Until recently, however, it remains unexplained whether these animals could contract the COVID-19 virus or not.
The symptoms that the animals had are dry coughs and loss of appetites. Nadia was the only animal to be tested as she was the sickest among others and is also known as the first tiger at the zoo.
Pictures by Bronx Zoo & Reuters