7 More Big Cats Test Positive for COVID-19 at Bronx Zoo

A total of eight big cats have contracted the coronavirus at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo in New York.

Per a press release on Wednesday, four tigers and three African lions tested positive for COVID-19 after the animals, with the exception of one of the tigers, exhibited a cough.

Earlier this month, the animal sanctuary announced a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger named Nadia was infected after she began showing symptoms.

The not-for-profit organization says they tested the remaining seven felines by using their fecal matter.

Despite their diagnoses, the WCS insists that all eight cats “continue to do well” and “are behaving normally, eating well, and their coughing is greatly reduced.”

Additionally, none of the zoo’s snow leopards, cheetahs, clouded leopard, Amur leopard, puma or serval are showing any signs of illness.

The group believes the cats were infected by an employee who was either asymptomatic, or later developed symptoms.

To prevent spread of the virus, preventive measures have been put in place for both staff members and the other cats in all four of the WCS’ zoos, including the Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo.

All four zoos, as well as the society’s New York Aquarium, have been temporarily closed since March 16.


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