On Sunday, April 5th, The Wildlife Conservation Society confirmed that a tiger at the Bronx Zoo had tested positive for COVID-19.
The tiger in question is a four-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia. She developed a dry cough and stopped eating and sleeping regularly. Nadia was tested by the Wildlife Conservation Society and her case was confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa.
Nadia supposedly passed the virus onto her sister, Azul, who showed symptoms just three days after Nadia was tested. None of those tigers are being tested, but they have been moved to a secluded pen to quarantine and recover.
It is assumed that Nadia contracted COVID-19 from a worker who was asymptomatic. Since the diagnosis, appropriate preventative measures have been taken to stop the spread of COVID-19 within the zoo. However, as time goes on, we will likely learn the interactions between humans and animals regarding COVID-19.
Until Sunday, the World Health Organization did not believe that animals could carry COVID-19, however, it seems that cats are the first and possibly only carriers of the virus. Scientists are doubtful that animals can infect humans with the virus, but that is still undetermined given the circumstances of Sunday's discovery.
The WHO is urging cat owners to bring their furry friends indoors in hopes to stop spreading the feline iteration of this virus as new information comes out.