Officials suspect three tigers at San Diego Zoo to be COVID-19 breakthrough cases
SAN DIEGO ZOO (KUSI) – Three Malayan tigers at the San Diego Zoo have been suspected to be exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19, Zoo officials announced Wednesday.
Tigers Connor, Cinta, and Berani have all received positive test results, the first from an in-house SARS-CoV2 PCR test, and the latter two from oral swabs and fecal sample tests.
The test results have not been confirmed yet as the zoo’s officials are awaiting confirmation from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory.
The tigers’ symptoms have been limited to intermittent coughs, fatigue, and sometimes a diminished appetite.
Specialists will continue to monitor the tigers closely and treat their symptoms.
All three big cats are fully vaccinated with a recombinant purified spike protein vaccine, which was created for reducing the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 and decreasing the severity and endurance of the virus in animals.
In the meantime, the tigers will remain at their habitat enclosure, Tiger River, where it will be open to guests as the habitat is already socially distanced from patrons.
Recently, snow leopards and Sumatran tigers at the Zoo and Safari Park have also been exposed to the virus, respectively.
The exposure within the big-cat-in-captivity community is consistent with the virus’s spread in the human community.
Over the last several months, wildlife health and care teams at the Zoo and Safari Park have vaccinated about 260 animals who are at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19.