The COVID-19 virus is spreading at the Bronx Zoo since, in addition to the tiger affected so far, officials at the wildlife center have certified that four other tigers have been infected, as well as three African lions.
On April 5, the institution that manages the New York zoo, the Wildlife Conservation Society, reported that a tiger had tested positive for coronavirus, in what was the first known COVID-19 infection of an animal in the United States.
It was a 4-year-old Malaysian tigress, although it was already explained that her sister Azul, two more Siberian tigers and three African lions had developed a persistent dry cough, awaiting analysis.
Zoo officials reported today that four other African tigers and three lions have finally tested positive for COVID-19. This test was carried out using a faecal sample so that the animals did not have to be anesthetized, as was the case with the Malaysian tigress.
All eight cats are doing well, and zoo officials say they are behaving normally, eating well, and their cough has been greatly reduced.
“We will ensure that any knowledge we obtain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world’s continued understanding of this new coronavirus,” Zoo officials said. “The tests on these cats were done in veterinary laboratories and the resources used were not taken from those used for human testing.”
The animals are still believed to have been infected by a staff member who was asymptomatically infected or who had contact with the animals before developing symptoms.
Just today, it has emerged that two other cats, in this case two domestic cats from New York State, tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first cases of pets detected in the United States.
Both animals live in different areas of New York State, the current epicenter of the pandemic not only in the US but globally; They have mild respiratory problems, and are expected to recover soon, according to a statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Laboratories of the National Veterinary Services of the Department of Agriculture.