By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In a follow-up on the COVID-19 positive tiger at the Bronx Zoo reported earlier this month, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Bronx Zoo reported earlier this week that the three other tigers in Tiger Mountain and the three African lions that exhibited a cough have also tested positive for COVID-19.

Image/Julie Larsen Maher via WCS – Communications

Samples for testing from the first positive tiger, Nadia, were collected from her nose, throat, and respiratory tract while she was under anesthesia. However, this testing was done by using a fecal sample test developed by laboratory partners that does not require the animals be placed under anesthesia. The fecal tests confirmed the suspicion that all seven cats had the infection, and also determined that one tiger at Tiger Mountain that never developed a cough was also positive for the disease.

COVID-19: Two pet cats test positive for SARS-CoV-2 in New York

All eight cats continue to do well.  They are behaving normally, eating well, and their coughing is greatly reduced.

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None of the zoo’s snow leopards, cheetahs, clouded leopard, Amur leopard, puma or serval are showing any signs of illness. The cats were infected by a staff person who was asymptomatically infected with the virus or before that person developed symptoms.

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 of our felids in our zoos to the disease.