A tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the new coronavirus, in what is believed to be the first known infection in an animal in the USA.
The 4-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia — and six other tigers and lions that have also fallen ill — are believed to have been infected by a zoo employee who wasn’t yet showing symptoms, the zoo said.
The first animal started showing symptoms March 27, and all are doing well and expected to recover, said the zoo, which has been closed to the public since March 16 amid the surging coronavirus outbreak in New York.
The finding raises new questions about the transmission of the virus in animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which confirmed Nadia’s test result at its veterinary lab, says there are no known cases of the virus pets or livestock.
The coronavirus outbreaks around the world are driven by person-to-person transmission, experts say.
There have been a handful of reports outside the U.S. of pet dogs or cats becoming infected after close contact with contagious people, including a Hong Kong dog that tested positive for a low level of the pathogen in February.