8 big cats — 5 tigers and 3 lions — have now tested positive for COVID-19 at Bronx Zoo

Posted at 8:23 AM, Apr 23, 2020

NEW YORK CITY — Eight animals in total at New York's Bronx Zoo have now tested positive for COVID-19, officials said.

On April 5, a tiger tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Now four other tigers and three lions have also tested positive, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Most of the animals had coughs.

The test for animals is different than the test for people; it uses a fecal sample. The tests were conducted in veterinary laboratories.

"All eight cats continue to do well," the WCS said. "They are behaving normally, eating well, and their coughing is greatly reduced."

The lions and tigers were tested out of an abundance of caution.

The WCS suspects an asymptomatic staff person infected the animals.

"Preventive measures are now in place for all staff who are caring for them, and the other cats in our four WCS zoos, to prevent further exposure of any of our felids in our zoos to the disease," the WCS said.

This story was originally published by Aliza Chasan on WPIX in New York City.