‘Nadia‘, a 4-year-old Malayan female tiger in the “Bronx Zoo” tests positive for Coronavirus. The COVID-19 virus was affecting humans before, but now it seems like the wildlife is not safe from it either. The tiger is the first known case of animal infection in the US.
National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa performed the test. Nadia along with 6 other tigers is likely to be contract COVID-19 by an asymptomatic zookeeper. The cats show symptoms including dry cough, from the previous month. But the employee is still not identified.
— Anika Noni Rose (@AnikaNoniRose) April 6, 2020
But it is also the first time a person infects an animal. Paul Calle is the Chief Veterinarian in the Bronx Zoo. He says ” there is an isolated instance of pets testing positive for COVID-19 around the world. But there is no evidence of them spreading the disease further”.
High alert in India to save Tiger!
In India, the nation is already in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on 6 April 2020 put all Zoos on high alert across the country.
But NTCA has also directed to gear up the frontline employees as well as vet officials. Because this will help officials detect the disease and prevent any spread from animals in the wild.
According to a directive, NTCH Assistant Inspector General Dr. Vaibhav C Mathur ordered forest officials to observe the tigers for symptoms related to COVID-19. It is done by direct observation and camera trap images for visible symptoms.
NTCA says the Coronavirus affects the gastrointestinal system in felines. A correlation might be in the process after consulting with vet officials. The NTCA also directed the states to send samples to ICAR approved labs for COVID-19 testing.
Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.