NEW YORK, NY - A 4-year-old Malayan tiger along with six other tigers and lions have fell ill at the Bronx zoo in New York. It is believed that a zoo worker who is asymptomatic had infected the animals according to a zoo spokesperson. This is the first case of an animal in the U.S.
"I couldn't believe it," said director Jim Breheny. "Any kind of knowledge that we get on how it’s transmitted, how different species react to it, that knowledge somehow is going to provide a greater base resource for people,” he said in an interview.
This finding raises the question about transmission through animals. “There doesn’t appear to be, at this time, any evidence that suggests that the animals can spread the virus to people or that they can be a source of the infection in the United States," Dr. Jane Rooney, a veterinarian and a USDA official, said in an interview.
The USDA is not recommending any tests to be done on any other animals in any zoo across the country.
The animals started showing symptoms on March 27th and are expected to recover.
The zoo has been closed to the public since March 16th. New York City is the nation's hotspot for the coronavirus.