Tiger in New York City zoo tests positive for coronavirus

Infection is first known case of animal in U.S. or tiger anywhere contracting the virus

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tiger
Tiger in Colorado (undated)
(Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)
Updated: April 5, 2020 - 10:32pm

A tiger in the Bronx Zoo in New York City has reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said Sunday, marking the first known case in which an animal in the U.S. or a tiger anywhere has contracted the deadly infection.

The Malayan tiger is reportedly 4 years old and named Nadia. Officials say six other tigers and lions are sick and suspect they were infected by an asymptomatic zoo employee.

The first animal started showing signs of illness March 27, but all are expected to recover, according to the Associated Press. The zoo has been closed to the public since March 16. 

The diagnosis raises concerns about the spread of the deadly virus, which purportedly started at a so-called wet market in China at which bats are sold for consumption.

The Agriculture Department says there are no known cases of the virus in the U.S. of pets or livestock. The department also says there’s no evidence now to suggest that animals can spread the virus to humans, according to the wire service.