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A tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Wildlife Conservation Society confirmed tests were done on Nadia, a four-year-old female Malayan tiger, after she developed a dry cough.
The tiger's sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions have also been experiencing the same symptoms, however all are expected to recover.
The test was carried out by USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratory, based in Ames, Iowa.
In a statement, the Wildlife Conservation Society said: "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.
"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. 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 four affected tigers live in the zoo's Tiger Mountain exhibit. One male Amur tiger that also lives at Tiger Mountain has not exhibited any clinical signs, and a Malayan tiger and two Amur tigers at the zoo's Wild Asia exhibit have also not exhibited any clinical signs."
The Wildlife Conservation Society says the infected animals came into contact with a worker who tested positive for Covid-19.
The Society's statement continues: "Our cats were infected by a person caring for them who was asymptomatically infected with the virus or before that person developed symptoms.
"Appropriate preventive measures are now in place for all staff who are caring for them, and the other cats in our four WCS zoos, to prevent further exposure of any other of our zoo cats.
"We are grateful for the cooperation and support of the New York State Diagnostic Laboratory at Cornell University and the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, where the initial COVID-19 testing of samples from the tiger were performed; the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory where confirmatory testing was conducted; USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; and the New York and Illinois State Veterinarians and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for their assistance."
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