Zoo Knoxville: One Malayan tiger has tested positive for ‘same virus that causes COVID-19 in humans’


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL)- Officials with Zoo Knoxville issued a release Friday saying that one of the zoo’s Malayan tigers has tested positive for “SARS-CoV-2, the same virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.”

The release read in part, “Arya, a 6-year-old female and Bashir and Tanvir, 11-year-old males, exhibited mild coughing, lethargy and decrease in appetite, and were tested for a range of potential causes, including SARS-CoV-2.  The initial test results for Bashir and Arya were communicated by the Runstadler Lab at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton, Massachusetts.  Samples from Bashir have been confirmed as positive by the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories, based in Ames, Iowa, and confirmatory testing for the other two tigers is in process, but they are presumed positive.”

Zoo officials said they are following CDC guidelines and “the tigers will be released from quarantine once they are symptom free for 72 hours and either all diagnostic tests are negative or 14 days have passed since the last positive test…”

So far no other animals at Zoo Knoxville have show signs of illness, according to the release.

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