A Tiger at the Bronx Zoo is the first animal to test positive for the Coronavirus

A tiger in a similar setting to Nadia the tiger diagnosed with the coronavirus, swims in algae water. (Andi Breit/Pixabay)


The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is nearly one month in and tigers have been one the most talked about topic during quarantine due to the popularity of the Netflix show, “Tiger King.”  Unfortunate tiger news came Sunday when a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York, named Nadia, tested positive for the coronavirus. Nadia became the first animal to test positive for the coronavirus with hers sister along with two other tigers and lions showing symptoms shortly after. 

“This is the first instance of a tiger being infected with Covid-19,” according to the Federal Agriculture Department via New York Times. “Several lions and tigers at the zoo showed symptoms of respiratory illness,” according to a statement by the department. They are expected to recover.”

While there has been panic by pet owners across the United States assuming that their pets could receive the coronavirus, there is no need to panic. The cause of the tiger coming down with the illness is still to be determined by the zoo veterinarians with updates to follow. 


A zoo employee carrying the coronavirus who could still be asymptomatic is how USDA officials believe Nadia became ill. Illnesses often spread quickly among big cats that are in the same enclosures at Zoos. The tests that were used for Nadia tested many different illnesses to see why she had the symptoms she did. 

An employee on staff has yet to test positive for the coronavirus, raising many questions to how Nadia got it. Until one does indeed test positive, many questions won’t be answered. The USDA also stated to Health Magazine that at this point in time, animals can’t spread the virus to humans. Veterinarians and scientists have been doing extensive research to determine whether or not pets can be asymptomatic to the virus to see if there is a link.

One thing to note is the coronavirus test that was used is not the same used on humans. See below:

Tests have been extremely hard to come by for humans coming down with symptoms related to the coronavirus all across the United States with various hospitals scrambling for essentials they wouldn’t normally have to worry about like gloves, N-95 masks, etc.

It is important for those with pets to continue to wash their hands especially after going out in public and being exposed to many germs. Just because there is no link to the transmitting between humans and animals now, doesn’t mean their cant be one coming.