A 4-year-old tiger named Nadia at the Bronx Zoo in New York City has tested positive for COVID-19, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced. New York City has been one of the hardest hit areas by the coronavirus in the U.S.
This female Malayan tiger, along with six other big cats — including Nadia's sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions — had all come down with a dry cough. Though these other cats weren't tested, the zoo is assuming they were also infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, due to their symptoms.
"We tested the cat out of an abundance of caution and will ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world's continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus," the WCS, which operates the zoo, said in a statement.
A zoo caretaker with COVID-19 likely infected the cats before he or she developed any symptoms of the disease, the WCS said. Since then, preventive measures have been put into place for staff in order to prevent further exposure to the cats, the WCS said.