You know things with the COVID-19 pandemic are getting worse when you hear about animals contracting it. So far, we knew that they could be transferring the disease, like everyone else, but other than that, our furry friends were in the safe zone. However, everything’s changed after an infected but still asymptomatic Bronx Zoo worker came in contact with a tigress named Nadia.
Unfortunately, another tigress, two Amur tigers, and three African lions from the Bronx Zoo appear to have the symptoms of coronavirus. However, only Nadia, the 4-year-old tiger, has been tested so far since the zoo workers did not want to anesthetize all sick animals.
USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) notes that this is the first known case of a tiger getting infected with coronavirus in the world. Let’s hope the virus doesn’t mutate to infect other animals.
Symptoms of the disease in Nadia began to appear on March 27. Although Nadia has some appetite-related issues and dry cough, both of which are common symptoms of COVID-19, the Zoo staff says all the big cats are doing fine. She could have become infected by one of the zoo employees, but we still don’t know who it was exactly. It could not have been a visitor, as the zoo was closed due to quarantine at the time.
All infected animals are currently under the supervision of veterinarians, and the doctors’ prognoses are to be believed, they will all get better.
USDA APHIS implores all COVID-19 patients to limit contact with animals, including house pets. At the same time, the department emphasizes that at present, there is no evidence that any animals, including pets or livestock, can transmit COVID-19 to people. But just to be safe, don’t smoosh your pooches or kitties for a while.
Stay safe, wash your hands, and flatten that curve!