A tiger at the New York City Bronx Zoo has tested positive for coronavirus and six other felines also show symptoms of the disease, the United States Department of Agriculture announced Sunday afternoon.
"As far as we know, it is the first time that a wild animal has been infected by a Covid-19 person," said the chief veterinarian at the Bronx Zoo. It appears that Nadia, a Malaysian tigress, was infected by one of her caregivers who was sick with coronavirus but asymptomatic. "It's the only thing that makes sense for now," the vet, named Paul Calle, told National Geographic.
So far, infected by their owners, several domestic animals have tested positive for coronaviruses: a cat in Belgium and also a German Shepherd and a Pomerian in Hong Kong. In China, a new study claims that cats may be able to infect each other, and scientists continue to study what other species may be infecting each other.
The four-year-old tigress, who is now diagnosed in New York, began suffering from a dry cough in late March. Now Nadia's sister, two Siberian tigers, and three African lions also have a cough and lack of appetite, although they were not tested yet.
It seems that zoos around the world are making a great effort to protect orangutans and prevent them from being infected, since primates are prone to catching humans if they suffer from respiratory diseases.
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