A tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19, the zoo said Sunday.
Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger, tested positive for the virus while her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions developed a dry cough, the zoo said in a release.
It’s believed to be the first time a tiger has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, the Associated Press reported.
Nadia and the other big cats are expected to recover.
Officials believe the cats were infected by an asymptomatic person with the virus who’d been caring for them, according to the release.
Nadia and the other cats experienced decreased appetite, but are otherwise “bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers” while under veterinary care, the release said.
Still, officials say they’re keeping a close eye on the animals.
“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,” the zoo said.
The zoo’s other big cats, including cheetahs, snow leopards, a clouded leopard, an Amur leopard, a puma and a serval have not shown symptoms, according to the release.
The Bronx Zoo has been closed due to the pandemic since March 16 but has implemented preventive measures to protect staff members and other animals from exposure, the zoo said.
While dogs and cats can test positive for the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there is no evidence that suggests animals can spread the coronavirus, McClatchy News previously reported.
More than 1.2 million human cases of the COVID-19 virus have been confirmed worldwide with more than 68,000 deaths as of April 5, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States has more than 331,000 confirmed cases with more than 9,400 deaths.
The World Health Organization has declared coronavirus a global pandemic. The United States has declared a national emergency.