A tiger at New York’s Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the new coronavirus, in what is believed to be the first known infection in an animal in the United States or a tiger anywhere in the world, federal officials and the zoo said.
The four-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia was among a group of six other animals to have also fallen ill, the Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages the zoo, said in a statement on Sunday.
She was screened for the COVID-19 disease after developing a dry cough along with three other tigers and three lions, it said, adding that all of the cats are expected to recover.
The coronavirus is believed to have spread from animals to humans, and a handful of animals have tested positive in Hong Kong.
Nadia is believed to have been infected by a zoo-keeper who was asymptomatic at the time. Six other animals, including lions and tigers, have been showing symptoms and are believed to have been infected with Covid-19.
The big cats had started showing symptoms, including dry cough last month after being exposed to the asymptomatic zoo-keeper who has not been identified.
The zoo had decided to test Nadia’s sample after her symptoms had gotten more severe than the others infected. The tiger had displayed a loss of appetite amid other signs, including dry cough.