Zoo Tiger tests positive for coronavirus

Apr 6, 2020 11:05 PM ET

A Tiger at a zoo has tested positive for coronavirus after catching it from an infected staff member, vets have confirmed.

The four-year old Malayan tiger as the Bronx Zoo caught the virus after she and six other big cats fell ill, which is thought to be the first ever known infection of an animal in the US.

A spokesman at the New York Zoo said all the animals are doing well and are expected to recover.

Dr Paul Calle, chief veterinarian at the zoo said, the facility “tested the cat out of an abundance of caution” and aim to “contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus.”

He added, “The COVID-19 testing that was performed on our Malayan tiger Nadia was performed in a veterinary school laboratory and is not the same test as is used for people.”

Experts have said this now raises concerns over the transmission to animals, livestock.

Dr Jane Rooney, a veterinarian and a USDA official said, “There doesn’t appear to be, at this time, any evidence that suggests that the animals can spread the virus to people or that they can be a source of the infection in the United States.”

Hong Kong health authorities said that pets can catch coronavirus from their owners, cats and dogs cannot pass the virus on to humans.

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