Nadia, a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York, tested positive for the coronavirus. She is the first of her kind to be infected with coronavirus.
The 4-year-old female Malayan tiger developed a dry cough and it was later discovered she was positive. She is expected to recover quickly.
Samples from Nadia were taken and tested after the tiger – and five other tigers and lions at the zoo – started showing symptoms of respiratory illness, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). No other animals at the zoo are showing symptoms.
“The cats have experienced some decrease in appetite but are otherwise doing well under veterinary care. They appear bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers,” according to the zoo authorities.
“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.”
The animals were infected by a zoo employee who was “asymptomatically infected with the virus” while caring for them, according to the zoo. The Bronx Zoo has been closed to the public since March 16.
Anyone sick with the coronavirus is being advised to minimize contact with animals, including pets, until more information is known about the virus.