The pandemic caused by the nobel coronavirus has crossed over 1 million positive cases around the world. While India alone has reported over 4,200 Covid-19 positives, the global death toll is estimated to be over 50,000. Amidst all the gloom, a new report claims the first animal infection with Covid-19 in the US. A four-year-old Malayan tiger, named Nadia from The Bronx Zoo, in New York City has been confirmed to be infected with the deadly coronavirus by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory.
The infected tiger, Nadia, along with six other big cats, is thought to have been infected by an asymptomatic zookeeper. The group of cats includes Nadia and her sister Azul, two other Amur tigers, and three African lions. All of these big cats have shown symptoms of the virus infection, including a dry cough since last month.
"We tested the cat (Nadia) out of an abundance of caution and will ensure any knowledge we gain about Covid-19 will contribute to the world's continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus," said the zoo in their statement.
"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 keeper. 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."
It is being assumed that the cats might have got the virus through physical contact with the zoo's employee. The authorities are yet to identify them.
All the zoos and aquariums in NYC has closed for the public since 6th March. This incident will now allow new precautions and measures to protect the animal and their caretakers at various wildlife sanctuaries and zoos.
Photo credit: Google