A four-year-old Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for coronavirus.
The Malayan tiger, along with six other lions and tigers who have become sick, are believed to have caught the virus by a zoo employee who was infected.
The zoo in the Bronx, New York, has been closed to the public since March 16, but the first animal started showing symptoms on March 27. All of the animals are expected to recover, the zoo says.
This is believed to be the first known case in a tiger in the world, federal officials said Sunday.
“We tested the cat out of an abundance of caution,” the zoo’s chief veterinarian Dr. Paul Calle said, adding that they hope to “contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus.”
The USDA previously said there were no known cases of animals or livestock having coronavirus, despite some reports of pets catching it. They stress that the global pandemic is driven by person-to-person contact and not from pets to humans.
“It’s important to assure pet owners and animal owners that at this time there isn’t any evidence that they can spread the virus,” veterinarian and USDA official Dr. Jane Rooney said.