It was barely a week ago that I reported that the first pet cat had been infected with coronavirus in Belgium, and now a Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York has tested positive for coronavirus.
The 4-year-old Malayan tiger is called Nadia, the first tiger to test positive for COVID-19 coronavirus -- is the first known infection in an animal in the US, or a tiger anywhere. 6 other tigers and lions have also been struck down with coronavirus, with a zoo employee (who isn't showing signs yet) reportedly infecting the tigers and lions at the Bronx Zoo.
Zoo Director Jim Breheny said in a statement: "These are extremely hard days for all of us -- no matter where we live and work". The US Department of Agriculture confirmed Nadia's test results at its veterinary lab, adding that there were no other known cases of coronavirus in US pets or livestock, yet.
The zoo 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. 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".
Dr. Paul Calle, the Bronx Zoo's chief veterinarian said that Nadia, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions had a dry cough. Some of the cats were wheezing and lost their appetite. The only one tested was Nadia, which required anesthesia to get her to go to sleep and tested.
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