A tiger at Bronx Zoo in New York City has tested positive for coronavirus, which has been confirmed by the Wildlife Conservation Society in a statement today.
Six other tigers and lions at the zoo are also showing symptoms but have not yet been tested for the disease.
Nadia, a four-year-old Malayan tiger, was tested with an “abundance of caution” after she had developed a dry cough and a decrease in appetite.
The Wildlife Conservation Society, the parent company of the Bronx Zoo, said in a statement that “appropriate preventive measures are now in place for all staff who are caring for them”.
They added: “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.”
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“Our cats were infected by a person caring for them who was asymptomatically infected with the virus or before that person developed symptoms. Appropriate preventive measures are now in place for all staff who are caring for them, and the other cats in our four WCS zoos, to prevent further exposure of any other of our zoo cats,” they wrote.
While the tiger is the first known animal to test positive for coronavirus within the US, there are reports of animals catching the virus in other countries.
This article originally appeared on Over60.