Tiger in New York zoo tests positive for coronavirus

A tiger in a New York zoo has tested positive for coronavirus.

A tiger called Nadia, from a zoo in New York is said to be the first non-domestic animal to test positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The 4-year-old female tiger tested positive after developing a dry cough and is expected to recover, the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo said in a news release. National Geographic says six other big cats are exhibiting symptoms consistent with the illness.


Samples from Nadia were taken and tested after the tiger -- and five other tigers and lions at the zoo -- began showing symptoms of respiratory illness, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). No other animals at the zoo are showing symptoms.

"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 zoo said.

"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 Covid-19 testing that was performed on Nadia was performed in a veterinary school laboratory and is not the same test used for people.

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.

In Rwanda, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) last month issued a public notice that suspended research and tourism activities in all national parks in the country.

Coronavirus has infected more than 1.2 million people across the world and at least 69,451 have died with the disease.

It is believed the virus was first transferred to people at a food market that trades wildlife in Wuhan, China.


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