Coronavirus affects big cats: an infected tiger from a New York zoo

The animal, which developed a dry cough, was hit by a keeper. The finding raises new questions about the transmission of the virus in animals.

Coronavirus affects big cats: an infected tiger from a New York zoo
Image by Pixabay

tiger from the Bronx Zoo in New York has tested positive for coronavirus, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Services Laboratories reported on Sunday, after one of its keepers was a carrier of the disease.

The animal, called Nadia, is four years old and she underwent tests along with other big cats that “developed a dry cough,” the zoo said in a statement, according to what CNN has told.

“Although they have experienced a decrease in appetite, they are well under veterinary care,” explains the text, which noted that big cats remain “active” with their handlers.

It is unknown how this disease will develop in big cats because it may react differently depending on the species, but we will continue to closely monitor and anticipate its full recovery,” the zoo statement continues.

The document, in which it is reported that the caretaker who infected the coronavirus to the animal had not presented symptoms, has concluded explaining that the center has already taken preventive measures to prevent this situation from happening again in any of its animals.

The finding raises new questions about the transmission of the virus in animals. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reported that, at least for now, there are no known cases of the virus in pets or livestock in the United States. “It is important to assure pet owners and animal owners that at this time there is no evidence that they can transmit the virus,” said Dr. Jane Rooney, a USDA veterinarian.