NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — All three tigers at The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk have tested positive for the coronavirus, but the zoo says they appear to be making a full recovery.
Initially last week, the zoo confirmed its Malayan tigers Stubbley and Osceola tested positive for the virus. The zoo’s third Malayan tiger, Christopher, was also tested after developing mild respiratory symptoms and results later came back positive.
The zoo says Stubbley and Osceola developed mild respiratory symptoms, including a dry cough and wheezing, last week. The symptoms were similar to other COVID-19 cases in big cats at other zoos and they were tested “out of an abundance of caution.”
Nasal swabs and fecal sample collection testing were used and the animals didn’t have to go under anesthesia.
It’s unclear how the tigers got the virus.
The zoo says the closest contact a visitor could have to the cats is more than 40 feet. The zoo says it also stays updated on all developments related to COVID-19 in both wild and domestic animals and follows the recommended biosecurity protocols outlined by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, including wearing PPE around the tigers.
No other big cats at the zoo have shown symptoms, and the tigers are expected to recover. COVID-19 cases in zoos across the country have resulted in complete recovery.