Bronx Zoo Tiger, Nadia The First Animal Tested Positive For Covid-19April 07, 2020 18:59
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While prior tentative reports and researchers showed that animals are not at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus, a new report from the Bronx Zoo suggests that one of their tigers named Nadia is the first to contract the disease.
The authorities of the institute have stated saying that they believe that the tiger contracted the disease from a caretaker who was asymptomatic at the time.
The Wildlife Conservation Society that is responsible for running the zoo stated in a statement that the four year old Malayan tiger along with her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions have been showcasing the signs of the disease including constant dry cough and lack of appetite and are expected to recover pretty soon.
The statement further stated saying, “We tested the cat 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.”
Even though there have been some reports concerning the lack of appetite in these cats, they have otherwise been doing well under the constant care that they are receiving from the vets taking care of them.
The researchers and the authorities are still unsure how the virus will develop in the big cats as the mode of action of the novel coronavirus is different in different species. But, the authorities said that they are going to be closely monitoring everything around them till the recover completely.
All the four zoos and the aquariums in New York, which is the worst hit state in the country has been closed since March 16.
The zoo further emphasised saying that there is no solid evidence that the animals play a role in the transmission of the virus aside from the initial impacts around in Wuhan and there have been no evidence on how the pets could transmit the virus, so they are going to be looking into the same further.
The Chinese officials have identified that the wild animals that were sold in the Wuhan wet market are the possible carriers of this novel coronavirus that has infected over 1.3 million people across the globe.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, there has been no reports of the pets and other animals in the United States responsible for transmitting the disease prior to the tiger, Nadia.
The website of that department still suggests saying, “It is still recommended that people sick with Covid-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.”
Other reports from late March report a cat contracting the coronavirus in Belgium followed by two dogs testing positive for the same in Hong Kong. They are believed to have contracted this virus from the people they were staying with.
The Bronx zoo has clarified saying that they have been taking preventive measures for the other authorities in the zoo as well as the other cats and animals present there.
By Somapika Dutta