A Malayan tiger at Zoo Knoxville in Tennessee has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that gives humans COVID-19, according to local news reports.
The zoo says they are working to identify the source of the infection, which they suspect to be an asymptomatic member of the staff who was working with the animal, according to WATE in Knoxville. 11-year-old male tiger Bashir began showing mild symptoms such as coughing, lethargy, and poor appetite, and later tested positive for the virus, WATE reports.
#BREAKING: One of Zoo Knoxville’s Malayan tigers has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a zoo spokesperson. Bashir, an 11-year-old male, exhibited mild coughing, lethargy and decrease in appetite, and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. @WKRN pic.twitter.com/I9Kyba5dUl
— Josh Breslow (@JoshBreslowWKRN) October 30, 2020
The other Malayan tigers at Zoo Knoxville, a 6-year-old female named Arya and another 11-year-old male Tanvir, also exhibited symptoms and are awaiting test results, per WATE. They are presumed positive by the veterinarians tending to Bashir. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans To Introduce $47 Billion Coronavirus Relief Bill)
The tigers are now symptom free but will remain in quarantine until they stay that way for 72 hours, says WATE. None of the other animals at the zoo are showing symptoms of the virus at this time, and experts say that the risk of the virus being transmitted from the animals to humans is low, according to WATE.