Two tigers test positive for COVID-19 at Indiana zoo

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo | Facebook

Officials at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in Indiana announced that both of its Sumatran tigers have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Animal care staff at the Indiana zoo reported last week that one of the tigers was showing symptoms consistent with the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a statement released Saturday. 

Both of the tigers, named Bugara and Indah, were tested for the virus in veterinary laboratories and the results came back positive.

“Bugara, the male Sumatran tiger, has been experiencing a dry cough, and Indah, the female Sumatran tiger, has not shown symptoms at this time,” staff veterinarian Kami Fox said in a statement. “Both tigers are being watched for any additional clinical signs and remain together in their enclosure.

It is unclear how the animals became infected and the zoo said they are working with local health officials to identify potential sources.

Zoo employees who work with the tigers will have restricted access to their holding area and will increase the amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) worn.

The facility, which cares for more than 1,400 animals, said no other animals have been tested at this time. 

Bugara and Indah are not the first tigers in captivity in the U.S. to contract the highly contagious disease following interaction with humans.

At least eight big cats — including five tigers and three African lions — became infected with the coronavirus at the Bronx Zoo last year.

Last month, several gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first known cases of the disease among primates other than humans.

Tags animals Bronx Zoo Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic Fort Wayne Children's Zoo Indiana

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