A Tiger in a Zoo Has Tested Positive for COVID-19; Allegedly Infected by a Zoo Employee

There are many things we don’t know about Covid-19, like how deadly it is or how to treat it, but based on its pattern of spread, one thing’s for sure: this virus is a greedy bastard.

Not content with infecting just young adults, Covid-19 has also infected babies, young children, and the elderly.

But that wasn’t enough, so it started infecting these guys:

Image: Unsplash (Colton Kresser)

How could they make our little canine friends sick?

That seemed to be the end of it, but just like humans, Covid-19 never seems to be content with what it has.

A Tiger in a Zoo Has Tested Positive for COVID-19; Allegedly Infected by a Zoo Employee

A 4-year-old tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York has become the first of her kind to test positive for the coronavirus.

Nadia, a female Malayan tiger, tested positive after developing a dry cough.

Wait, tigers can cough?

Oh, I guess they can. Sounds a little weird though.

Tiger: Maybe it’s your cough that sounds weird?


Fortunately, Nadia is expected to recover, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo said in a news release.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), samples from Nadia were taken and tested after the tiger – and five other tigers and lions at the zoo – began showing symptoms of respiratory illness.

I’m guessing this means they were going through more boxes of tissue paper than usual.

Infected by zoo employee

Nadia and her tiger friends didn’t contract the disease while on vacation in the UK, of course. Airlines are notoriously narrow-minded when it comes to letting tigers fly.

The animals were actually infected by a zoo employee who was “asymptomatically infected with the virus” while caring for them.

This means that the zoo employee didn’t exhibit any symptoms of the virus, and probably didn’t even know he was sick.

This is why social distancing is so important.

Unsure how disease will develop

However, as the disease has never infected a tiger before, the zoo is unsure as to how the big cats will respond to the virus.

“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.”

Other than a decrease in appetite, these guys are “otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers,” the zoo said.


It’s not just the big cats that can contract the coronavirus, though.

Infected Cat

Just a week ago, a pet cat in Hong Kong tested positive for Covid-19 after its owner had contracted the virus.

And like the zoo employee above, the cat had not shown any symptoms of the virus.

Image: Giphy

No Evidence That Pets Can Transmit COVID-19

Before you start panicking and quarantining your pet, you should know that there is no evidence that a dog, cat, or any pet can transmit Covid-19, according to the World Health Organisation.

Though I hope you don’t have a pet tiger in your house, you probably have no reason to worry about contracting the disease from your pets.


But if you want to make sure you don’t unknowingly infect your furry friends, here are a few things you can do:

  • wash your pets’ paws with soap after taking them outside
  • put “shoes” on your pets’ paws that could be removed and sanitised separately

Another thing that could help is to tell your pet to practise social distancing. If it doesn’t seem to get the message, almost as if it can’t understand you, tell it that NEA officers will take its name down if it doesn’t comply.

Image: Giphy

That should do the trick.


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