COVID-19 Tests of Miami Zoo Tigers Come Out Negative
Good news for Miami Zoo fans: the tigers in the animal center are now declared negative for the COVID-19 virus. The tests were given to the Sumatran tigers in April 2020 as a safety measure following the onset of some symptoms that could be linked to the deadly virus affecting the entire world, according to the zoo’s spokesman, Ron Magill.
The large cats experienced nasal discharge, loss of appetite, and lethargy, prompting their caretakers to take action. The tests that were done on the tigers were administered carefully as the symptoms could be associated with other conditions. It was also different from those conducted on humans as it involved several nasal, throat, eye, and rectal swabs.
The tigers have tested negative, but it is still unknown why they experienced such symptoms. According to the Animal Health Team, causes like common cold and allergies can be the one to blame for the onset of symptoms.
The Miami Zoo tigers are not the first ones to be tested for coronavirus among the American zoos. In the past month, several tigers at the Bronx Zoo, which is managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society, tested positive for COVID-19.
The National Veterinary Services Laboratory of the USDA tested the 4-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia. She and six other big cats suffered dry cough, according to a WCS news release. Associated Press reported that only Nadia was tested because she was already sedated for the exam during that time.
In late April, four tigers and three lions from the New York zoo tested positive. They (including Nadia) were thought to have contracted the virus through an asymptomatic worker who was in charge of caring for the animals. The Bronx Zoo has reportedly been closed since March 16. According to a press release, all the cats have been in good condition and are now behaving normally, eating well, and coughing less.
In a previous update by Paul Calle, the zoo’s chief veterinarian, things have been improving daily, and no animal was seriously ill. They are expecting a full recovery among the cats soon.
Located in Bronx, New York, the Bronx Zoo is one of the four zoos managed by the WCS. In terms of area, it is one of the largest in the United States and is the largest metropolitan zoo in the U.S. As of 2010, the zoo has around 4,000 animals across 650 species.
Meanwhile, the Miami Zoo, also called the Zoo Miami, was established in 1948. It is considered the largest zoo in Florida and is the only tropical zoo in the continental U.S. It has over 3,000 animals belonging to 500 species as of 2015.
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