A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The 4-year-old female Malaysian tiger, Nadia, had developed a dry cough and was tested “out of an abundance of caution,” the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo said in a statement.
The diagnosis was confirmed by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories. It is the first confirmed COVID-19 case in a tiger, according to the USDA.
Several tigers and lions at the zoo showed symptoms of a respiratory ilness, the USDA said.
The tiger who tested positive is believed to have become infected by a zoo employee. The tiger first began to show symptoms on March 27, the USDA said.
“Though they have experienced some decrease in appetite, the cats at the Bronx Zoo are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers,” the Wildlife Conservation Society’s statement said.
“It is not known how this disease will develop in big cats since different species can react differently to novel infections, but we will continue to monitor them closely and anticipate full recoveries.”
The Bronx Zoo was closed on March 16 as cases of COVID-19 in New York began to grow.