Tiger at New York Zoo tests positive for COVID-19

Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, that the zoo said on April 5, 2020 has tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is seen in an undated handout photo provided by the Bronx zoo in New York. – WCS/Handout via REUTERS

NEW YORK: A tiger at New York City's Bronx Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19, the zoo said on Sunday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Nadia, a four-year-old female Malayan tiger, had developed a dry cough before getting tested. Nadia's sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions are also being monitored for similar symptoms, said the zoo in a news release.

The zoo tested Nadia for COVID-19 "out of an abundance of caution" and the positive result was confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory of the US Department of Agriculture, the release said.

"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 keepers," said the zoo.

The animals were infected by a coronavirus-infected zoo employee who exhibited no symptom while caring for them, it added.

"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," said the zoo.

The Bronx Zoo has been closed to the public since March 16.