A tiger at the New York’s Bronx Zoo has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus, the management of the zoo said Sunday.
Human to tiger transmission of coronavirus
It’s reported that the animal got the virus from a caretaker who had been asymptomatic at the time.
The four-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia along with her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions all developed coughs and are expected to recover, the Wildlife Conservation Society stated.
“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 statement sent to AFP said.
“Though they have experienced some decrease in appetite, the cats at the Bronx Zoo are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers,” the statement continued.
“It is not known how this disease will develop in big cats since different species can react differently to novel infections, but we will continue to monitor them closely and anticipate full recoveries.”
All four of the zoos and the aquarium in New York have been shut since March 16.
Can animals transmit coronavirus?
The zoo reported to have said 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.”
Disease control officials in China had identified wild animals from Wuhan market as a source of transmission of the coronavirus outbreak that has infected scores of people globally.
According to the US Department of Agriculture website there had “been no reports of pets or other animals” in America falling ill with coronavirus before news of the tiger Nadia.
“It is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus,” the US Department of Agriculture website says.
Coronavirus in animals around the world
In late March, a cat was found infected in Belgium. Similar cases in Hong Kong were reported about two dogs being positive for coronavirus.
All those animals are thought to have contracted the virus from the people they live with.
The Bronx zoo stated precautionary measures were in place for animal caretakers as well as cats in city’s zoos