Bronx Zoo Reports Covid-19 Symptoms In Tiger

By Ben Hamill - April 07 2020

Bronx Zoo Reports Covid-19 Symptoms In Tiger

New York City is one of the hardest-hit cities of all by the deadly Coronavirus pandemic. And it now seems as if not only humans, but also innocent animals, are being made to suffer as a result of the outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, late last year. A Malayan tiger named Nadia, who happens to call New York’s Bronx zoo home, has tested positive for the Coronavirus. Nadia is believed to be the first public case of a known Coronavirus infection present in an animal, and especially in a tiger species.

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But Nadia the tiger isn’t the only victim to have fallen ill with the virus at Bronx zoo. Six other tigers and lions are also believed to have fallen ill after the virus was contracted from an asymptomatic employee of the zoo. The first of the symptoms among the animals appeared on March 27, which symptoms were confirmed as being Coronavirus-induced symptoms following the necessary tests shortly having been performed shortly after. Federal officials have however confirmed that none of animals are showing any symptoms serious enough to be considered life-threatening and the expectation is that all of the patients will make a full recovery.

Zoo Wants To Be Of Value

Zoo Director Jim Breheny has in the meantime said that what is currently happening in the world is a difficult and trying experience for one and for all, irrespective of where we may find ourselves in the world at present. The animals having contracted the Coronavirus presents medical experts with the opportunity of learning even more about the behaviour of the virus and will hopefully help scientists in their quest for the development of an antibody and vaccine.

Dr Jane Rooney, who is a veterinarian and USDA official associated with the United States Department of Agriculture, has in the meantime cautioned against any willy-nilly assumptions that the disease can be contracted by live-stock or even pets, or that the disease can be transmitted from animals to humans during the course of day-to-day movements and close proximity, as would typically be the case with the transmission of general influenza form human to human. Dr Rooney also pointed out that the USDA wasn’t at this stage recommending the testing of wildlife for the presence of the virus.

Humans Are To Protect Their Pets

The American Veterinary Medical Association has however said that those humans sick with Covid-19, should as an additional safety measure, try and limit their contact with especially their pets, as some evidence has surfaced suggesting that pets may contract the disease from their humans, albeit generally in low and mostly harmless levels of the coronavirus pathogen. The emphasis has all throughout been on preventing pets from falling ill, and not the other way around.

The CDC continues to advise that people regularly wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, as well as to sanitise, prior to holding or caring for their animals, so as to ensure that their pets remain safe and free of the virus and their homes clean and hygienic.


Who did the Bronx Zoo’s tiger get Coronavirus?

The virus seems to have been passed on from a zoo employee.

How many zoo animals in NY have Covid-19?

So far 6 tigers and lions have shown symptoms and have been isolated.

Can humans catch Coronavirus from pets?

No, but pets and wild animals can catch it from humans.

Are any of the zoo animals with Covid-19 seriously ill?

No, they are all expected to make a full recovery.