2 tigers at Virginia Zoo test positive for COVID-19

Virginia Zoo Photo 1 Stubbley Osceola.jpg
Posted at 12:48 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 12:48:46-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The Virginia Zoo announced Wednesday that two of its Malayan tigers have tested positive for COVID-19.

Confirmatory testing is currently underway for Stubbley and Osceola, who first started showing symptoms, including a dry cough and wheezing, last week. Nasal swabs and fecal samples collected from the two tigers tested positive for the virus.

The Zoo's third tiger, Christopher, has since developed mild respiratory symptoms and is being tested.

The Zoo has taken all three tigers off-exhibit, and says that there is "no indication at this time" that the big cats could transmit the disease to humans. According to the Zoo, the closest contact a visitor could have to the animals is more than 40 feet, and close viewing areas of the tigers are completely enclosed by glass and rock work.

It's currently unknown how the tigers contracted the virus. The Zoo is working with the Norfolk Health Department, Virginia Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the USDA and other national experts to learn more.

According to the Zoo, all reported COVID-19 cases in zoological institutions across the country have confirmed complete recovery in their animals, and the Virginia Zoo expects the same with Stubbley and Osceola.

The Zoo said Stubbley and Osceola's symptoms appear to be improving thanks to the quick discovery and treatment of the virus.

To learn more about the tigers' condition, click here.