Pothashang News Service: Imphal, April 6, 2020: In a first case of Covid-19 infection from human to animal, a 4 year old Tiger in a Zoo in US has tested positive for coronavirus.
According to a bbc.com report, Nadia, a four-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, in New York City was tested positive for the coronavirus and it is believed to be the first known case of an animal infected by a human with Covid-19.
The test result was confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa.
Nadia, along with six other big cats, is thought to have been infected by an asymptomatic zoo keeper. The cats started showing symptoms, including a dry cough, late last month after exposure to the employee, who has not been identified, the report said.
“This is the first time that any of us know of anywhere in the world that a person infected the animal and the animal got sick,” BBC quoted Paul Calle, the chief veterinarian.
Nadia, her sister Azul, as well as two Amur tigers and three African lions who showed symptoms, are all expected to make a full recovery, the zoo said.
The big cats did have some decrease in appetite but “are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers”, it said.
None of the zoo’s other big cats – four other tigers, snow leopards, cheetahs, a clouded leopard, an Amur leopard, a puma and a serval – are showing any signs of illness.
“Our cats were infected by a person caring for them who was asymptomatically infected with the virus or before that person developed symptoms,” said the zoo.
All four zoos run by the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York City, including the Bronx Zoo, have been closed to the public since 16 March. New measures will now be put in place to protect the animals and their caretakers at all the facilities, the report added.